The First Signs of Fibroids
- Created: October 7, 2016
- by: Leah Johnson
Do you often feel sluggish or bloated? Are your periods heavy with a lot of cramping? Do you wonder if there is something wrong with you, even if you don’t feel “sick.” Many women live with uterine fibroids, either not knowing that the condition is present or not seeking treatment because they don’t feel “that bad.” There is no reason to live in discomfort due to uterine fibroids when there are effective and minimally invasive treatments for this condition.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are growths that develop in the uterus. These tumors are benign but can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Fibroids can be as small as a pea or can grow to the size of a grapefruit, and in rare cases even larger.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
Heavy painful periods are the most common symptom associated with fibroids. A heavy period is classified by needed to change a tampon or sanitary towel on an hourly basis for more than a couple of consecutive hours. This heavy bleeding is often accompanied by severe cramping and can lead to anemia. Other symptoms include a swollen or distended abdomen, a feeling of pressure in the stomach area, and a frequent need to urinate. In some cases, fibroids can lead to fertility issues including difficult pregnancies, increased chances of needing a cesarean delivery, as well as problems conceiving naturally.
How are fibroids treated?
There are several treatment options for fibroids. Historically, a hysterectomy was used to remove the entire uterus. While this procedure effectively removes the fibroids and prevents them from returning, it is also the end of the patient’s ability to bear children. Myomectomies were developed to remove the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. This surgical procedure can be performed in a traditional open surgery or with a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. More modern treatments include ablation therapy, which heats and burns out the fibroids and fibroid embolization, which uses an embolic agent to stop the blood flow to the fibroids. Both myomectomies and ablation therapy have risks to fertility due to the potential to scar the uterus. Embolization however, is 90 percent effective and poses no risk to future fertility. It is also a quick procedure with full recovery within 5 days.
What should I do if I think I have fibroids?
If you think you have fibroids, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist. Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and perform a pelvic exam. The physician may order further testing including an imaging procedure such as an ultrasound. If fibroids are diagnosed the physician will discuss the treatment options with you and help you to make a choice about the best treatment for you.
The physicians at the Fibroid Treatment Collective in Beverly Hills, CA are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of fibroids. Contact them on (800) 645-6095 for more information or to schedule an appointment.