Treatment for Fibroids … or Not? Watchful Waiting

Most women with uterine fibroids experience only minimal symptoms or, perhaps, none at all. In this situation the best treatment for fibroids could be watchful waiting (also known as “expectant management”).

With this approach, no active treatment is undertaken. During  watchful waiting time, though, the woman does need periodic evaluation by her doctor. Followup visits should always include questions about any change in symptoms. Regular abdominal and pelvic examinations are necessary too. Any difference in size and/or number of fibroids may suggest the need to change a watchful waiting plan.

When Is the Best Treatment for Fibroids No Treatment at All?

Some fibroids will disappear on their own. Others cause only minimal symptoms, especially early on. In these cases watch-and-wait can be the best plan.

Many fibroid treatments come with the risk of significant or lasting side effects. Also a lengthy recovery time may be necessary for the more invasive procedures. As long as symptoms are not debilitating, it may be best just to wait and see what happens as time goes by.

There is good news though. During the watchful waiting phase, a woman can do some important things to help herself. For example she can experiment with natural treatment for fibroids.  This approach may often be more beneficial while the fibroids are still small and less problematic. Fibroid sufferers can also try to make positive lifestyle and diet adjustments. During watchful waiting, it is important to learn about the range of treatment possibilities. In case the fibroid sufferer has eventual need for more aggressive intervention, it is good to prepare in advance. The more aware she is of various options, the better a woman can work with her healthcare team in the future.

Advantages of Watchful Waiting

This is often the best initial option for many women with uterine fibroids. Medical professionals recommend watchful waiting as a good beginning point. Remember: some fibroids don’t grow at all, and some shrink on their own even before menopause. During and after menopause most fibroids will shrink.  Heavy bleeding will stop on its own, too, when hormone levels decrease.

Avoiding the cost and aftereffects of medication or surgery can be a powerful reason to try watchful waiting. For most women “doing nothing” makes excellent sense unless/until fibroid symptoms become too bothersome.

Disadvantages of Watchful Waiting

This approach is best managed by a gynecology specialist with experience in treating fibroids.  It is important to select  a doctor familiar various treatment options. If more intensive intervention becomes necessary over time, the experienced doctor will be ready.This approach may need a doctor’s office visit every three to six months. Close monitoring of blood count test results is important. Symptoms may intensify over time; therefore, different treatment may  become necessary in the future.


For more comprehensive information about advantages and limitations for other fibroids treatment, Vitamin Insider has assembled data about a variety of treatment modalities.

Note also in Vitamin Insider that a wider variety of subjects about fibroid tumors — everything from causes and risk factors to diagnosis and prognosis — can be found among the topics there.