Did you know that as many as 3 out of 4 women will have uterine fibroids at some point in their lifetime? While fibroids don’t always cause symptoms and frequently go undetected, fibroids can also cause some very disruptive symptoms. When should you be concerned, and what are the treatment options available? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you better understand uterine fibroids.
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors that grow on the wall of a woman’s uterus. These types of growths are almost always non-cancerous. Fibroids can be as small as a seed or as large as a grapefruit depending on how fast they grow. Women in their 40’s and early 50’s are most likely to have fibroids.
What causes fibroids?
The direct cause of fibroids is not known. However, we do know that there is a hereditary component and that fibroids are closely associated with progesterone and estrogen. The hormonal link explains why fibroids tend to grow rapidly during pregnancy and often shrink when a woman enters menopause.
Do all fibroids demand treatment?
Most fibroids are harmless. Therefore, if your fibroid is not producing symptoms, treatment may not be recommended. Instead, your physician may want to simply monitor fibroid growth if you are nearing menopause.
What are the symptoms of a uterine fibroid?
As previously mentioned, not all fibroids cause symptoms. However, for the women who do feel the effects of their fibroid, the symptoms can be quite painful and disruptive. Consider seeking treatment for your fibroids if you experience the following common symptoms:
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Persistent pain or pressure in the abdomen
- Heavy, painful or prolonged periods
- Pain during sex
- Urinary problems
How are fibroids treated?
Treatment for fibroids can include surgical and non-surgical methods. However, treating fibroids depends on several factors that may be specific to each woman, including the severity of symptoms, the size and location of the fibroid, as well as whether or not the patient wants to get pregnant in the future.
At North Pointe OB/GYN, we are proud to offer relief from painful or disruptive uterine fibroids. We will always monitor fibroids closely and recommend treatment if symptoms become unmanageable or if the fibroids pose a risk to a woman’s health. Call today to learn more.