What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids grow in the uterus, usually during childbearing years. Uterine fibroids can be as small as a seed, but also can grow to large, bulky masses that stretch out your uterus and cause serious discomfort.
They’re usually non-cancerous and don’t generally increase your risk of developing uterine cancer. In rare cases, some can become a type of uterine cancer, so it’s important to have them monitored.
What are the Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids?
Many women have fibroids and don’t know it because they cause no symptoms. Some women, however, suffer because of fibroids and experience:
- • Heavy and long-lasting menstrual periods
- • Pelvic pain and pressure
- • Frequent urination
- • Constipation and bloating
You may also experience backaches or leg pain that can be traced back to the presence of uterine fibroids. Rarely do they cause acute pain, but if a fibroid outgrows its blood supply and starts to die, you may feel intense pain and need immediate help.
How are Fibroids Treated?
If you have no symptoms, treatment isn’t necessary. The providers at Women’s Health Specialists of Frederick may want to do periodic ultrasounds to monitor any growth. Fibroids that aren’t treated may resolve on their own. As you reach menopause and hormone levels change, fibroids become less symptomatic, too.
If you have painful symptoms, the doctors may recommend certain medications to address issues such as pelvic pressure and heavy bleeding. Medications can’t eliminate fibroids but may shrink them or halt their growth. Common medications used include gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists that halt the production of estrogen and progesterone, a progestin-releasing intrauterine device, or oral contraceptives.
If you have exceptionally large fibroids, you may be a candidate for surgery. In some cases,
your doctor may order a hysterectomy in order to halt fibroid growth altogether. In other cases, your physician may elect to remove the fibroid or fibroids in a procedure called a myomectomy.
To learn more about uterine fibroids and treatment, call the office of Women’s Health Specialists of Frederick, or book an appointment online.