Uterine fibroids are relatively common, affecting approximately 80 percent of women before they reach menopause. The condition, most common in women of childbearing age, can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Conversely, they may present very mildly, causing you to miss symptoms altogether. Due to the affect that uterine fibroids can have on the uterus and on your fertility, you may wonder if you should worry about this condition. Truly, the best person to turn to with this question is your gynecologist. Here at Huey and Weprin OBGYN, the teams at our Kettering and Englewood offices routinely perform screenings and treatments for uterine fibroids. We’ll discuss more about the condition here.
How Do You Get Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow abnormally on the uterus. They may develop on the exterior of this organ, inside of the uterus, or may grow on the uterine wall. Some fibroids have a “stalk” that attaches to the point of origin from which they grow. Some are tiny, like a grain of rice, and some are quite large. Over the life of a uterine fibroid, the tumor can shrink and expand in size. Usually, there is no concern that fibroids are cancerous. Most are benign, although there is a very slight risk of this changing. Although research has helped doctors understand uterine fibroids much better than they ever have, we are still unsure exactly what causes some women to develop these growths
It is possible to have fibroids and not know it. The condition may come as a surprise when your gynecologist discovers a lump or mass during your routine pelvic exam. If you experience the following symptoms, though, it is wise to schedule a visit with us for further review:
- Abdominal discomfort or a sense of fullness
- Lower back pain
- Pelvic pain
- Bleeding in between your periods
- Frequent urination
- Painful intercourse
- Abnormal abdominal distortion
- Difficulty getting pregnant
When Are Uterine Fibroids Treated?
If you show signs of uterine fibroids, your doctor may order an ultrasound or MRI to confirm your diagnosis. If your fibroids are not causing symptoms, your doctor may suggest simply keeping an eye on the tumors. Large fibroids may require treatment in order to prevent distortion of the uterine cavity or infertility. If your periods are heavy due to uterine fibroids, you may need treatment to prevent anemia. The treatment your doctor suggests for your uterine fibroids will align with the symptoms you are having and the size of the growths. You may only need to take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate minor discomfort. Your doctor may prescribe some form of hormone treatment, such as birth control pills or a hormone-releasing IUD. You may be prescribed medication that will shrink your fibroids and stop your abnormal menstrual cycle. Finally, in some cases, it is necessary to remove uterine fibroids via the myomectomy procedure or to remove the uterus via hysterectomy. Your gynecological symptoms related to uterine fibroids may be nothing to worry about. Together, we can find out! Contact us 937-771-5100 to schedule an appointment at an office near you.