New research has shown that an experimental “morning pill” drug could help millions of women overcome the symptoms associated with fibroids.
Women taking the drug, called ulipristal acetate (UPA), saw their fibroids shrink in volume and experienced a reduction in symptoms such as heavy periods.
Scientists said UPA could provide a non surgical option to treat the common womb condition which can lead to infertility.
Women who took part in the trial also noted an improvement in energy levels, mood and general quality of life. Fertility also returned to normal once treatment was finished.
Study leader Alicia Armstrong, from the US National Institutes of Health, said: “The results… are convincing and lead us to conclude that UPA is an effective non-invasive treatment for fibroids that can help maintain fertility in women whose only option up to now was to have surgery.”
UPA is currently being developed as a novel form of emergency contraception.
Researchers thought it might also work as a fibroid treatment because of its effect on the fertility hormone progesterone.
Progesterone helps to trigger ovulation but recent research has shown it also plays a role in the development of uterine fibroids.
The condition is believed to affect 24 million women in Europe, and as many as one in four British women will suffer from the non-cancerous growths in their lifetime.
Copyright Press Association 2010