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Do options other than a hysterectomy exist?

If you have cancer, a hysterectomy might be the only option. But if you have uterine fibroids, endometriosis or uterine prolapse, there are other treatments you can try first.

  • Drug therapy. Certain medications may lighten heavy uterine bleeding or correct irregular uterine bleeding. Certain medications can help with endometriosis as well.
  • Endometrial ablation. If you have heavy or irregular uterine bleeding, this procedure might ease your symptoms. With a special device, a doctor uses electricity, heat, or cold to destroy the lining of your uterus and stop uterine bleeding.
  • Uterine artery embolization. For treating fibroids, this procedure involves blocking the blood supply to the tumors. Without blood, the fibroids shrink over time, which can reduce pain and heavy bleeding.
  • Myomectomy. If you have fibroid tumors, this surgical procedure removes the tumors while leaving your uterus intact. There's a risk that the tumors could come back.
  • Vaginal pessary. This is an object inserted into the vagina to hold the womb in place. It may be used as a temporary or permanent form of treatment for Uterine Prolapse. Vaginal pessaries come in many shapes and sizes, and they must be fitted for each woman individually.

Talk to your doctor about nonsurgical treatments to try first. Doing so is really important if the recommendation for a hysterectomy is for a reason other than cancer.