As many as 75% of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime. While these uterine growths are typically harmless, their presence can interfere with your reproductive and overall health.
Board-certified OB/GYN specialists, Dr. Martin Pakideh and Dr. Soudabeh Ahadi, understand the concerns you may have about fibroids, especially those that cause symptoms that may interfere with your life. They offer comprehensive care for managing fibroids, and want every woman to understand fibroid facts.
Here’s what you should know about fibroids and your options for treating them:
Why you have fibroids
Fibroids are smooth tumors that grow in the uterus. These tumors can range in size from microscopic to extra-large growths that cause visible changes in the shape of your uterus.
There’s not a clear understanding of why women develop fibroids, but there may be links to fibroids and your hormones. It’s possible that the same hormones responsible for regenerating your uterine lining after your monthly period, estrogen and progesterone, also influence the growth of fibroids.
You may also be at increased risk for fibroids if your mother or a close female relative also has the condition.
The complications of fibroids
In general, fibroid tumors are usually harmless and not cancerous. For some women, complications with fertility can arise if the tumors are preventing the sperm and egg from joining.
Many women experience a lower quality of life due to the discomfort of heavy periods and other fibroid-related symptoms.
Fibroids can also affect your sex life, making intercourse painful. This can result in issues with self-esteem or relationship difficulties.
Symptoms that can indicate fibroids
While you can have fibroids and not even know it, there are symptoms that may be your first indication fibroids are growing in your uterus. These symptoms can include:
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe cramps
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Longer-lasting periods
- Frequent need to urinate
Some of these symptoms can also relate to other underlying medical conditions and if you experience heavy bleeding or severe pain, it’s important that you schedule a diagnostic appointment at Monroe OB/GYN right away.
More than one fibroid treatment is available
When fibroids become large enough to affect your health or your chronic symptoms reduce your quality of life, know that there are treatments available to address the root cause of your pain and other symptoms.
Treatment options for fibroids range from taking hormonal birth control and over-the-counter pain relievers to surgical removal of abnormal fibroid tissue.
Many times, you only need a minimally invasive procedure to remove fibroids and alleviate related symptoms. Minimally invasive surgery requires only small incisions to address fibroids without the removal of your uterus and other reproductive organs.
There are some women who may need a hysterectomy to eliminate fibroids for good. This procedure removes the uterus and is only recommended as a last resort for fibroid treatment when other therapies don’t work, and when you’re sure you don’t want to become pregnant again.
If you’re experiencing heavy periods or other fibroid-related symptoms, schedule a consultation to learn more about your options for fibroid treatment. You can call Monroe OBGYN today or book an appointment online now.