Posts for tag: Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are a common problem, affecting women of reproductive age. Sometimes these benign tumors don’t cause symptoms, so a woman may not even realize that she has fibroids until she visits her OBGYN for an annual checkup. Fibroids may be detected during a regular pelvic exam; however, further testing such as an ultrasound is usually needed for a diagnosis.
What Are Fibroids?
Sometimes fibroids can cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, bowel and urinary problems, pain during sex, and heavy bleeding. While these tumors are benign and very prevalent they can affect fertility; therefore, it’s important that you see a gynecologist once a year for a full gynecological checkup even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. The symptoms you experience depend upon how many fibroids are present, as well as their location and size.
Since fibroids affect women differently there isn’t just one way to treat them. Often, your gynecologist may recommend just watching and monitoring the fibroid if you are experiencing little to no symptoms. Since fibroids usually grow slowly or don’t grow at all there isn’t much concern that the fibroid will continue to grow if left untreated.
There are also medications that your OBGYN can prescribe to treat issues affecting your menstrual cycle such as heavy bleeding or pelvic pain. These medications won’t get rid of fibroids but they can shrink them. Common medications used to treat uterine fibroids include gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, a progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) and tranexamic acid.
If the fibroids are large or causing severe symptoms then your gynecologist may suggest surgery or noninvasive procedures also geared toward removing the uterine fibroids. One such procedure uses a noninvasive MRI-guided ultrasound surgery in order to destroy fibroids while also preserving the healthy uterine tissue. There are also minimally invasive procedures such as a uterine artery embolization or laparoscopic myolysis. Women who are looking to get pregnant may not be right for some of these procedures; therefore, it’s important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of these treatments before deciding on the best approach for treating fibroids.
If you are experiencing symptoms of fibroids it’s important that you talk with your gynecologist to find out what’s going on. Even though these growths are benign it’s still important to make sure that you are getting the treatment and care you need to reduce symptoms and potential complications.
Affecting over 80 percent of women by the time they reach age 50, fibroids are abnormal uterine growths that can cause great discomfort, heavy periods, and abdominal pain. Luckily, there is a number of treatment options available to the millions of women who suffer from this condition. Read on to learn more about fibroids and how your local OBGYN can help ease your symptoms!
As mentioned above fibroids are typically non-cancerous tumors that develop within the uterine line. Although it is officially unclear on what exactly causes them to grow, experts generally agree that fibroid growth is influenced by a few factors, including hormone production, family history, a history of pregnancy, and being overweight.
While some people with fibroids report feeling no effect from their presence, other women report a range of different symptoms, such as:
Heavy and extended menstrual flow
Pelvis and lower back pain
If you suspect that you may have fibroids, schedule an appointment with your local OBGYN to undergo a pelvic exam.
Once your gynecologist has discovered the presence of fibroids, a specific treatment plan can be crafted specifically for you based on your age, your fibroid size, and the overall status of your health. Some possibilities for mild fibroids include:
Applying heat to the areas that are experiencing cramps
Losing weight, if you are overweight
Dietary changes, such as avoiding meat and high-calorie foods
For more serious cases, hormone regulating medications such as Lupron will cause your estrogen to drop, and thus cause menstrual cessation and fibroid shrinkage. If a patient’s fibroids are very large, a hysterectomy may even be in order.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
If you suspect that you may have fibroids, don’t wait for the condition to get worse—contact your local gynecologist to seek relief and boost your health!
Uterine fibroids are growths that develop either on or within the uterine walls. While these growths are completely benign (noncancerous) and some women may never even know they have them, other women deal with abdominal pain, lower back pain, pain during sex and heavy periods as a result.
Along with pain and heavy periods, women with uterine fibroids may also feel pressure on their bladder and may need to urine more frequently. If the fibroids grow large enough they can also cause abdominal swelling.
While any woman can develop uterine fibroids, there are some factors that could increase a woman’s odds of developing these growths. Women in their 30s and 40s are more likely to deal with fibroids. Fibroids often shrink after menopause.
If you also have a family history of uterine fibroids you may be more likely to experience them. Being overweight or obese also increases your risk. Furthermore, your diet can impact your risk level. Women who eat red meat are at a much higher risk than women who limit their red meat intake and consume a lot of veggies.
Even though it’s not certain what causes uterine fibroids it is believed hormones and genetics may play a role. Fibroids tend to grow faster during pregnancy and are more likely to shrink after menopause (when estrogen and progesterone levels drop drastically).
Most of the time, uterine fibroids may be diagnosed during your routine gynecological checkup. During a pelvic exam, your gynecologist can often feel the fibroids on the uterus. If this happens, imaging tests such as an ultrasound, MRI or X-ray may be necessary to confirm them.
If you have fibroids but do not experience symptoms then treatment may not be necessary. Of course, if you are dealing with pain or other symptoms because of your fibroids then you’ll want to talk with your gynecologist about the best treatment option for you. There are factors both you and your women’s health doctor will need to consider to help you choose the right fibroid treatment for you. These factors include the size and location of your fibroids, whether you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, and your age.
If you are dealing with only mild pain, you may only need over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms when they arise. In some instances, a gynecologist may prescribe birth control pills, which can also reduce heavy menstrual cycles caused by fibroids.
If you are facing moderate-to-severe symptoms then the best option may be surgery to remove the fibroids. Fibroids can return even after surgery. The only way to truly cure this condition is through a hysterectomy, in which the uterus is completely removed.
A gynecologist can help you create a treatment plan that’s right for you to help you manage your fibroid symptoms.