Nearly 28 million women suffer from painful uterine fibroids, and a related condition called endometriosis. Both cause severe period pain and may lead to infertility. Now, there is new hope for those who’ve endured this excruciating pain.
Caitlin Winegrove is an elementary school teacher who one day hopes to have kids of her own.
“In teaching first grade, it’s very important that you move quickly and show up with your energy every day,” said Winegrove.
But with each menstrual period, she’s sitting down from the pain of fibroid tumors and endometriosis.
Fibroids are non-cancerous stalk-like growths inside the uterus. Endometriosis causes tissue to grow outside the uterus.
“With fibroid pain, people feel very heavy and a pressure associated with it. With endometriosis pain, typically, that’s described as a burning or sharp stabbing type of sensation,” said Dr. Latasha Murphy, a gynecological surgeon at Mercy Medical System.
Murphy performed Winegrove’s minimally invasive laparoscopy revealing 10 fibroids.
“We were able to remove endometriosis from, about, four different locations in her pelvis,” said Murphy.
Post-procedure, Murphy prescribed a new FDA-approved drug called Myfembree.
“It decreases the brain’s message to the ovaries to create estrogen. Estrogen stimulates endometriosis and fibroids to grow,” Murphy explained.
“I haven’t been experiencing, really, any cramping. I’ve had very light periods since starting it,” Winegrove said with relief.
Myfembree was approved by the FDA in mid-2022. In addition to treating fibroids and endometriosis, the drug also serves as an alternative to birth control pills.