Women with uterine fibroids can now have non-cancerous tumors removed via drug treatments that will eventually ensure that they retain their fertility.

Early findings of a research suggests that a drug called ulipristal acetate that blocks ovulation and is often used as an emergency contraceptive, could actually be used to shrink uterine fibroids which are known to cause abdominal pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.

The fibroids, which eventually result in hysterectomy and could contribute to miscarriages, and their surgical removal are both known to cause fertility related problems, says Dr. Alicia Armstrong, chief of gynecologic services at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's Program for Reproductive and Adult Endocrinology.

Two studies were conducted side-by-side where women aged between 25 and 50 and carrying uterine fibroids were assigned to receive treatment with the ulipristal acetate drug or via a placebo. The ladies were asked to take the pills once a day across three menstrual cycles.

Upon completion, it was found that the fibroids shrank more in the women who took the drug instead of the placebo. And those who took higher doses of the drugs showed a faster reduction in the fibroid size and they also reported less bleeding during menstruation than the others.

Research suggests that the drug could be a non-invasive treatment for uterine fibroids that can sustain the fertility levels of women, whose earlier option was only surgery. The study is currently in Phase-2 after which it would require Federal government approval for putting the drug to specific use.