Fibroids Q & A
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are usually benign tumors that develop on the soft tissue inside the uterus. In much rarer cases, they can be cancerous. Benign fibroids never grow into cancer; instead, cancerous fibroids start out that way. The team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology observes your fibroids as they grow and provides treatment for fibroids that cause symptoms.
The sizes of fibroids in the uterus vary widely. Some are as small as an eraser on the end of a pencil while others can be as large as a watermelon. Of course, fibroids of that size are very rare, and the majority of them are smaller and easier to manage. The team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology can treat fibroids of any size or severity.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
Fibroids don’t always cause symptoms. Many women don’t realize they have uterine fibroids until a provider lets them know after observing them. Fibroids that are large or occur in many clusters may cause symptoms like:
- Painful sex
- Heavy or lengthy periods
- Pelvic pain
- Frequent urination
- A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
- Low back pain
Experts aren’t sure what causes fibroids or what makes some cases much more severe than others. They suspect that genetics play a role and that hormones can bear some influence over whether or not you get fibroids.
Fibroids also become more common in your 30s and 40s and tend to appear more often in women with obesity.
How are fibroids treated?
Even if you don’t realize you have them, the team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology can diagnose fibroids with in-office tests for other purposes like ultrasound imaging or hysteroscopy.
Fibroids often stop growing on their own or even shrink when you reach menopause. To decide whether or not you need treatment, the team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology considers the size and number of fibroids you have as well as your future fertility goals. If you opt for fibroid treatment, your options are:
Medications like over-the-counter pain medications or birth control pills can control discomfort or abnormal bleeding from uterine fibroids. Other drugs, which you must use in moderation, can make fibroids shrink.
Uterine artery embolization (UAE)
UAE is a procedure that treats fibroids by injecting small particles to cut off blood flow to the fibroids in the uterus. Heartfelt Obstetrics & Gynecology performs this procedure using a catheter, so it’s not open surgery.
Surgery, often minimally invasive, can remove uterine fibroids with moderate or severe symptoms. Some options include myomectomy and a hysterectomy.
Some treatments do not rid you of fibroids, but they can reduce symptoms that come with them. For example, endometrial ablation can reduce heavy bleeding but won’t remove the fibroids.
Uterine fibroids don’t always cause symptoms or complications, but when they do, the experts at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology can help. Call the office at (541) 205-6890 or request an appointment online today.