Archive for the ‘ Health Information ’ Category

Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Woman Has Stomach Ache Sitting on Bench at Park

At some point, most of us will experience abdominal pain. Most causes of abdominal pain are not worrisome and can easily be diagnosed and treated. The following is not intended to diagnose or treat abdominal issues, but merely to familiarize you with common causes and related conditions.

The Basics of Abdominal Pain

The abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower margin of the ribs and diaphragm above, the pelvic bone below, and the flanks on each side. Organs in the area include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas. Also the female reproductive system is within the abdominal cavity.

Typically, various amounts of pain can arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity (such as the skin and abdominal wall muscles) and can range in intensity from a mild stomach ache to severe, acute pain. The pain is often nonspecific and can be caused by a number of different conditions such as inflammation, infection, or the stretching or distention of an organ (obstruction of the intestine or swelling of the liver), or by loss of blood supply to the organ (ischemic colitis).

Diagnosing Abdominal Pain

Doctors determine common causes of abdominal pain by relying on physical examinations or tests, the actual characteristics of the pain, and by surgical or endoscopic options.

Information can also be obtained by taking down a patient’s medical history in order to better determine the cause of pain. This might include tracing back the origins of the pain by time, specific location, pattern, and duration, as well as looking at things that might allow the pain to worsen or relieve itself on its own. Associated signs and symptoms, such as fever, diarrhea, or bleeding also are taken into close consideration.

Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Whether it is a mild stomach ache you are suffering from, or sharp pain and cramps, abdominal pain–as mentioned– has many causes. For instance, it might merely be indigestion or constipation. Or perhaps it is a stomach virus, or, if you are a woman, monthly menstrual cramps.

Other possible causes include:

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
• Crohn’s Disease
• Food poisoning or food allergies
• Gas
• Lactose Intolerance
• Appendicitis
• Diverticulitis
• Fibroids
• Colitis
• Gallstones
• Kidney Stones
• Obstruction of the Intestine
• Ulcers
• Hepatitis
• Endometrioses
• Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
• Colon Cancer
• Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
• Viral Gastroenteritis
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Persistent, severe or reoccurring abdominal pain simply isn’t normal. There may well be an underlying health condition related to internal organ issues, tissue inflammation or food sensitivity. The sooner you consult with a doctor, the sooner you can determine probable cause and appropriate treatment.

Chronic abdominal pain is a warning sign that should not be ignored. Women often endure pain in this area, assuming it’s associated with monthly menstrual discomfort or changes within the reproductive system. Which it may well be. But it’s always better to investigate and know…than to suffer in uncertainty.

Could your abdominal pain be fibroid related? A few simple tests can confirm or rule out the presence of fibroids. Contact The Fibroid Treatment Collective for fibroid-related diagnostic and treatment advice, click here for a free, online consultation.

What is the Difference Between Endometriosis and Fibroids?

Doctor and patient consulting on a table

Both endometriosis and fibroids have a role in menstrual irregularity and pelvic pain. They can present similar symptoms and can cause similar problems. And both are leading causes for a hysterectomy. But they are very different conditions.

What is Endometriosis?

The muscular walls of the uterus bear a lining called the endometrium. Every month, the endometrium adds additional layers in preparation for a fertilized egg. When fertilization occurs, the fetus is nourished by this lining. When fertilization does not occur, various portions of the lining will be shed, along with the unfertilized egg, in the monthly menstrual cycle.

Endometrial cells may migrate to different organs, such as the fallopian tubes, bladder, large intestine, and even the lungs. Outside the uterus, these cells may grow and create endometrial tissue in areas where it doesn’t belong. The body reacts to this irregularity with scarring, cysts, inflammation and discomfort.

Endometriosis is the presence of tissue normally found in the uterus, outside the uterus.

Common Symptoms of Endometriosis

o Infertility
o Pain during and before menstrual cycles
o Pain during sexual intercourse
o Painful urination during menstrual period
o Painful bowel movements during menstrual period
o Nausea, constipation, diarrhea

What are Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are solid tumors containing smooth muscle fibers and connective tissue that develop within the uterine walls. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors. But they can seriously impact health, depending upon their size and location.

Fibroids vary in size and shape. They can grow slowly or very quickly. Fibroid symptoms such as hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy and prior to menopause, are believed to trigger sudden, rapid fibroid growth. For most women, fibroids will remain small and asymptomatic. But for some patients, fibroids create persistent, life-impacting challenges.

Fibroids are benign tumors that grow within the walls of the uterus.

Fibroid Symptoms

o Heavy, excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
o Infertility
o Pelvic pain and pressure
o Pain during menstrual cycles
o Back pain
o Pain in the upper thighs
o Pain during intercourse
o Frequent urination
o Constipation
o Abdominal swelling
o Weight gain

Causes

The exact causes for these two conditions remains unknown, but many doctors believe that estrogen may be the main culprit.

Only a doctor can determine the presence of endometriosis or fibroids. Medical imaging and other tests are needed to confirm which (or both) conditions might be present. While symptoms may be similar, these are two distinct diseases. They require distinct and specific treatments. Remember, the sooner you identify the problem, the more likely you are to successfully handle it. Endometriosis and fibroids rarely solve themselves.

Questions concerning endometriosis or fibroid symptoms? We’re here to help. Click here to speak with us.

Is Embolization Right for You?

There are many treatment options to consider...

Uterine fibroids most commonly affect women 40 to 50 years old. These benign tumors grow within the muscular wall of the uterus, and depending on size, have the ability to disrupt the abdominal space with their dense, fibrous tissue. Fibroids may cause a change in menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure or pain, constant urination, and a variety of other symptoms. Rest assured, there is a fibroid treatment for everyone.

Symptomatic fibroid patients are often told they need surgery. An enormous amount of hysterectomies (surgical removal of the uterus) and myomectomies (surgical removal of fibroid and uterine tissue) are performed every year to address symptoms of pain, bleeding, abdominal distention and fibroid-related infertility. But are these surgeries really the best approach?

Fibroid Surgery vs. Non-surgical Uterine Fibroid Embolization

As medicine advances, many traditional surgeries are being replaced by gentler, less invasive techniques. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is an example of a highly successful and surgery-free fibroid treatment. More and more women are choosing to avoid the pain, risk and recovery time of fibroid surgery by opting for an approach that’s low- trauma to the body, has a very brief recovery time and protects fertility in women of child bearing age.

The right fibroid treatment choice is something only you and your doctor can decide. But understanding surgical versus non-surgical options definitely helps shape an informed decision.

How Fibroid Embolization Treats Fibroids

This is a minimally invasive procedure. No tissue or organs are surgically removed. Instead, embolization works by injecting tiny particles into the blood vessels that nourish each fibroid. Blocking blood supply starves fibroids of oxygen and nutrients. They dwindle and shrink. The fibroid growth cycle is reversed, permanently. Fibroid symptoms are reversed, permanently.

The embolization procedure requires no removal of uterine tissue. It is performed under local, rather than general anesthesia. Most patients return home and resume normal activity in a matter of days.

How Surgery Treats Fibroids

Hysterectomy is one of the most common surgeries prescribed for fibroid issues. Without a uterus, there can be no uterine fibroids. But this form of treatment can have negative psychological and physical effects. And removing the uterus presents a variety of risks including blood clots, infections and permanent damage to the body. Hysterectomy surgery also involves an extended hospital stay, long recovery and the end of any future fertility. Many women, even if they aren’t planning on having children, prefer to keep the uterus they were born with.

Myomectomy is the excision of fibroids by scalpel or electrical current. It is often recommended for fibroid patients who wish to preserve the uterus and any potential fertility. Important considerations with this surgery are the chance of fibroid regrowth (about 50% of all myomectomy patients will have fibroids return within 1 year), uterine scarring, and a long recovery period. (While less than the 2 month recovery expected with hysterectomy, myomectomy still averages 5 weeks of recuperation.

Which Way to Go? Surgery or Embolization?

Both are medically proven approaches. Both offer symptom relief.

For patients comfortable with major surgery and removal of the uterus, hysterectomy may well be the right option. For those who desire immediate removal of fibroids, aware that uterine scarring and fibroid regrowth may occur, myomectomy may be suitable. But for women who feel a minimally invasive treatment is better suited to their bodies, lifestyles and fertility expectations, fibroid embolization offers symptom relief without the discomfort, risk and recovery time of fibroid surgery.

To learn more about non-surgical uterine fibroid embolization and its benefits, visit fibroids.com Or speak directly with The Fibroid Treatment Collective, medical pioneers of this non-surgical, minimally invasive approach. 888-296-9442. The consultation costs nothing. The information could change everything.

Diagnosing Fibroids

diagnosing fibroids

Fibroid tumors affect as many as 50% of women. Some fibroid patients show no symptoms at all. These benign tumors frequently develop within the female reproductive system. While their cause is generally unknown, they often create painful and abnormally long menstrual cycles. How do you know if you have fibroids? Only a doctor can answer.

What Are Fibroids?

Fibroids are the most common tumors seen in the female reproductive system and the leading cause of hysterectomies in the United States. It is estimated that 30% of women under 35 will have fibroids, with that number jumping to 50% by the age of 50. Only about one third of these are large enough to be detected by a doctor during a physical examination. It is important to note that fibroids have no relation to a woman’s risk of uterine cancer.

While most cases of fibroids are relatively harmless, some will require treatment. Fibroid surgery may be suggested. However, non-invasive options do exist. Embolization has long been a safe and non-surgical procedure to reduce bleeding during uterine surgery. Today, Uterine Fibroid Embolization is used as an effective way to shrink fibroids without harming chances for pregnancy.

Fibroid Symptoms

The most common fibroid symptoms include:

• Heavy or prolonged menstrual cycles
• Abnormal bleeding between menstrual cycles
• Pelvic pain
• Increased frequency in urination
• Lower back pain
• Pain during intercourse

In cases where there is heavy or prolonged bleeding during and between menstrual cycles, a woman can experience iron-deficiency anemia which will require additional treatment. Degree and intensity of fibroid symptoms will vary. Some women may experience very mild fibroid symptoms or none at all.

Diagnosing Fibroids – How Are Fibroids Diagnosed?

Fibroids are usually found during a physical examination of the pelvic region in which a physician may find a firm mass located near the middle of the pelvis. A physician may also look at your complete medial history as well as perform an abdominal exam to confirm that there may be a mass in your pelvic region. Other procedures to diagnose fibroids may include:

• Transvaginal ultrasound
• MRI
• Hysterosalpingography – this test uses a dye to highlight the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes on x-ray images.
• Hysteroscopy – this is a procedure in which a physician inserts a small telescope called a hysteroscope through the cervix and into the uterus. Then, saline is injected, expanding the uterine cavity. This allows the physician to examine the uterine and fallopian tube openings.
• Endometrial biopsy – In this procedure a tissue sample is taken from the uterus and tested to see if there are any harmful cells present.

Fibroids grow rapidly before the menopause, and often continue to enlarge in the menopause. If you begin to experience unusual discomfort, this could indicate that the fibroids are growing. Be sure to see your doctor regularly, and if you have any pressing concerns, consult them immediately.

If you have questions or concerns about fibroids, contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective.

Disclaimer: The ideas, procedures, and suggestions contained on this website are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. Uterine Fibroid Embolization has been known to provide relief from their symptoms and significant fibroid shrinkage. Results may vary for individuals.

Can Fibroids Cause Weight Gain?

Can Fibroids Cause Weight Gain

Can fibroids cause weight gain? If you want the short answer: Absolutely! Uterine Fibroids are a non-cancerous overgrowth in muscles and tissues in the uterus. Some are small and go unnoticed by the person who has them. Others can weigh as many as 20 pounds. That is a lot of extra weight in the abdomen. And it can lead to pain, bloating and discomfort.

Why Fibroids Cause Weight Gain

Uterine fibroids start out very small. For many women, they stay small and cause no symptoms or complications. But in others, fibroids grow very fast and get very large. They are the result of:

  • Elevated levels the hormones estrogen and progesterone
  • Pregnancy – because the above hormone levels increase during that time

And you are at increased risk if:

  • You have a family history
  • Are African American
  • Are over the age of 30

High blood pressure and obesity also appear to be linked, but cannot be said to cause fibroids based upon current research.  According to the National Institutes of Health 70 to 80% of women over 50 have fibroids. The vast majority of these women do not have symptoms. But African American women are more likely to have symptomatic fibroids and to experience them at a much younger age.

Because the swelling is in the abdominal area, these benign tumors can even be mistaken for signs of pregnancy. While this mass is not cancerous, if it becomes larger it will become more apparent and uncomfortable for the person. Because this mass can be so large and heavy it can cause noticeable weight gain.

Warning Signs that Your Weight Gain May be Fibroids

Normal Causes of Weight Gain

To recognize the warning signs, first we need to briefly look and normal causes for weight gain among women. The usual causes of weight gain are as follows:

  • You’ve not been eating as well as you normally do.
  • You are eating more than you normally do.
  • You aren’t getting as much exercise as you normally do.
  • You are eating high sodium meals that are causing water retention (bloating).
  • You are pregnant.

But when weight gain is unexplained. Or you are working out, but don’t seem to be getting results in your mid-section, there could be something else going on.

Signs that weight gain could be fibroids

One of the signs of fibroids is unexplained weight gain. But you will want to evaluate the weight gain as it relates to other symptoms and if in doubt always visit your Doctor.

The common symptoms of fibroids are:

  • Heavy bleeding between periods
  • Abnormally heavy bleeding during periods (you know what’s normal for you)
  • Pain in the pelvis and lower back, which you may only identify as discomfort at first
  • More severe menstrual cramping (Again, you know what’s normal)
  • Increased urination, due to extra pressure on your bladder not unlike that experienced during pregnancy
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Prolonged period
  • Pressure or feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder

Testing and Treatment for Fibroids

Only a doctor can determine if your weight gain and other symptoms are the result of fibroids. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should contact the Fibroid Treatment Center to determine if your symptoms are the result of fibroids and, if so, discuss treat treatment options. Remember, while symptomatic fibroids are less common, those that do cause symptoms can grow fast and become very large. If something does not feel right about your body, you should always talk with a doctor.

Common Uterine Fibroid Symptoms

Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids cause a variety of uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms in women that can get in the way of normal daily activities. With proper treatment, women can free themselves of fibroids and subsequent symptoms. While these uterine fibroid symptoms can range from mild to severe, even the mild ones can cause a disruption to a person’s life.

Fibroid Symptoms

Heavy bleeding or painful periods

Periods are annoying enough when they are regular. Fibroids can cause heavy bleeding that can fill a tampon every hour. Not only can this heavy bleeding cause embarrassment or ruin your clothes if it seeps through or leaks, but it can also cause anemia. Anemia occurs when a person has lower than average iron present in the blood and has symptoms of its own including fatigue, pallor to the skin, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and fast heartbeats. In addition, heavy bleeding is often accompanied by more painful cramping which can lead to lost time at work, school, or social events, impeding your life.

Enlargement of the lower abdomen

Fibroids can cause swelling in the abdomen, making your stomach large and distended. Not only can this cause issues with your appearance, but it can make it difficult to find clothing that fits and hurt your self-image. No one wants to appear overweight, especially when it’s due to a medical condition that can be treated fairly easily.

Frequent urination

The tumors in the uterus can put pressure on the bladder causing the need for frequent urination. Knowing that you need to use a bathroom regularly can stop you from making plans for events where bathrooms might be scarce. You might avoid hiking, attending movies, or even journeys that require long car rides or flights. It is not necessary to put your life on hold due to the annoying symptoms of fibroids.

Pain during sex

Fibroids can also cause sexual intercourse to be uncomfortable or painful. This can cause women to be reluctant to get intimately involved with a partner or could cause difficulties in an existing relationship. Consenting adults can choose to be as sexual or non-sexual as suits them, but sex is not supposed to be painful. This is a key indicator that there is an issue in a woman’s gynecological health and with proper medical care pain during intercourse should decrease.

Complications during pregnancy and labor

Untreated fibroids can make successful pregnancy challenging. Pregnancy should be a happy and exciting time in a woman’s life. Fibroids can cause complications throughout pregnancy, resulting in additional visits to the doctor, health complications for the mother and child, and a six-times greater chance of needing an emergency cesarean section.

A further complication includes infertility. When left untreated, fibroids can take up valuable real estate in the womb needed by a growing fetus, making it difficult or even impossible for a woman to conceive or maintain a pregnancy.

Fibroid Treatment

Treatment for fibroids is very straightforward and can prevent all of these symptoms and future complications. If you have questions or concerns about fibroids, contact the expert physicians at the Fibroid Treatment Collective in Beverly Hills, CA.

Can I Still Get Pregnant After a Fibroids Embolization?

Fibroids and Pregnancy

Many women put off treatment for fibroids because they don’t want to impede their ability to become pregnant in the future. While treatments for fibroids in the past had the potential for long-term effects on successful pregnancy, modern medical advances have made it possible to treat fibroids without causing a negative effect on a women’s future fertility.

The risk of delaying or avoiding fibroids treatment

First, it is in your best interest to treat for fibroids. While many women experience mild or small fibroids with few obvious symptoms, fibroids can become worse over time, growing larger or multiplying, eventually causing the symptoms to worsen. If left untreated, fibroids can cause infertility. If a woman opts against treatment to preserve her fertility, she may end up suffering infertility due to the fibroids themselves.

Other Treatment

Historically, fibroids were treated with hysterectomies and myomectomies, both of these treatments affect fertility. Hysterectomies remove the entire uterus which makes it impossible to bear children and fertility issues are an associated risk of the myomectomy procedure. Even ablation therapy can cause some scarring to the uterus that can cause fertility issues.

Can I Still Get Pregnant After a Fibroids Embolization?

There is an option to treat fibroid with fibroid embolization. This treatment is administered through a minimally invasive catheterization procedure, which delivers an embolic agent to the uterine artery. This agent attacks the fibroids, causing them to shrink. As the fibroids shrink, the patient’s health improves and fertility can be maintained.

Fibroid embolization does not involve a surgical procedure, which can cause scarring or other damage to the uterus that can affect fertility. Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a non-invasive, non-surgical, out-patient procedure. It is performed under local anesthetic and sedation and has a very quick recovery time. Most patients are back at work in a few days. This quick treatment for fibroids is also very effective, with more than 90 percent of the women who have this treatment see their fibroids disappear or shrink to such small sizes that symptoms are no longer present. Other treatments can achieve similar effective results, but with much longer and more painful recoveries as well as risks to future fertility.

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions about fibroid embolization, contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective in Beverly Hills. The doctors at this practice pioneered this innovative treatment to provide a viable treatment option for women suffering from fibroids and the uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms associated with the condition. The physicians and staff here know the treatment thoroughly and provide in-depth consultations to help women make the best choice for them to effectively treat their fibroids. The doctors will answer any questions about fibroid embolization as well as other treatment options so that each patient understands the procedures and her personal health.

Don’t delay treatment for fibroids to preserve your fertility. This could backfire and there are safe effective treatment options that will preserve your ability to have a baby naturally.

Treatment Options for Fibroids

Fibroid treatment options

Fibroids are a common medical condition. By the age of 50, approximately 70 percent of women will have developed these tumors. Fibroids are benign and in early stages if the tumors are small in either size or number, many women do not experience any symptoms. However, fibroids can get worse over time with symptoms ranging from lower back pain and abnormally heavy periods to infertility. Many women who have fibroids put off treatment because they feel that the symptoms are manageable or because the treatments for fibroids traditionally have a negative effect on future fertility. With modern medical advances women now have an effective fibroids treatment that will preserve fertility, Fibroid Embolization. Here are some Fibroids treatment options ranging from most evasive and highest effect on fertility to least.

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, which may or may not include the ovaries. Hysterectomies are performed either in a traditional open surgery or laparoscopically. This procedure is very effective at removing fibroids, however it also stops the patient from ever having children. Recovery time ranges from several days to a few weeks, depending on how the procedure was performed. If a woman has a hysterectomy and opts to have her ovaries removed as well, she will need to consider whether or not to have hormone replacement therapy, as her menopause will begin with the absence of her ovaries and the hormones they produce.

Myomectomy

The technical term for fibroids is leiomyoma and a myomectomy is the surgical removal of uterine fibroids. This surgery is performed in one of three ways: in traditional open surgery, with a laparoscopic surgery, or with a hysteroscopic procedure. Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are both minimally invasive surgeries with a quicker recovery time than a traditional surgery. In all cases, the surgeon accesses the uterus and surgically removes the fibroids. This is a very effective means of removing fibroids, however the tumors can grow back.  In fact, approximately 50 percent of the women who have this surgery require repeat treatment for returning fibroids. The recovery time varies between a few days for the minimally invasive procedures to up to six weeks for a traditional open surgery. The benefits of myomectomy are that in most cases, the procedure can be performed in a minimally invasive manner and it preserves the uterus so that pregnancy is still possible in the future. As with all surgical procedures, there are risks including uterine scarring that can affect fertility and heavy bleeding during the procedure necessitating a hysterectomy.

Fibroid Embolization

Here at the Fibroid Treatment Collective, we have pioneered an innovative and minimally invasive treatment for fibroids. Fibroid Embolization involves inserting a catheter and running it to the uterine artery, then releasing embolic agents that cause the fibroid to shrink. This procedure is significantly less invasive than any other procedure to remove fibroids. Recovery from fibroid embolization only takes five days. Fibroid embolization is also extremely effective with over 90 percent of women who have this procedure seeing their condition resolve. Also, very few women experience any regrowth of fibroids. This procedure also protects a woman’s fertility and does not carry the same level of risks of a surgical procedures.

If you have questions about fibroids or how they are treated, contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective on (866) 479-1523 for more information.

The First Signs of Fibroids

Signs of Fibroids

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.”  These might be signs of fibroids.  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 compelling and minimally invasive treatments for this condition.

What are the signs of fibroids?

Heavy, painful periods are the most common sign associated with fibroids.  In rare cases, fibroids can lead to fertility problems including complicated pregnancies, increasing chances of a cesarean delivery, and problems conceiving naturally.  Other signs of fibroids include a swollen or distended abdomen, a feeling of pressure in the stomach area, and a frequent need to urinate.

How are fibroids signs 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 five days.

What should I do if I think I have fibroids?

If you think you have any signs of fibroids, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist. Your doctor will talk to you about your signs and perform an exam. If fibroids are diagnosed, the physician will discuss the treatment options with you and help you to choose 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 (866) 479-1523 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Fibroids Treatment

Don’t Waste Any More Time to Remove Fibroids

uterine fibroidsFibroids are a very common condition for women in the United States. A recent study states, by the age of 50, 70 percent of women will have developed uterine fibroids at some point in their life. When fibroids develop in a woman’s uterus, they are non-cancerous and in fact, do not present fibroid symptoms in the early stages or when they are very small. As symptoms develop, women may experience any of the following: heavy bleeding, swollen abdomen, frequent urination, painful intercourse, lower back pain, and/or fertility issues. The degree to which a woman may experience these symptoms can vary, however, it is important that when fibroids are diagnosed that treatment is sought as soon as possible, even if the symptoms are manageable.

Many women may delay fibroid treatment if they feel they are able to manage the symptoms. There are many myths women will tell themselves, but as with all medical conditions, the earlier a condition is treated, the easier and more effective than treatment is likely to be. So, here are some facts to consider.

Fibroids Get Worse With Time

If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number. As these tumors take over the uterus the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids pain will increase. The heavy bleeding will become heavier and it may be accompanied by severe cramping. As the fibroids grow the abdomen can swell. They can put additional pressure on the bladder resulting in incontinence or frequent urination. Ultimately, they can cause infertility. All of these symptoms can cause a strain on a woman’s life. The pain can prevent women from effective professional success. Also, if the patient is suffering from discomfort or embarrassment, she may not want to engage in an active social life with friends or family, and miss out on important experiences or relationships. Untreated fibroids can even cause issues in a relationship due to the symptoms and potential negative effects on fertility.

Fibroids Treatment & Recovery Are Not As Bad As You Think

Historically, invasive fibroid surgeries like hysterectomies, which involve the removal of the uterus and could require weeks of recovery. A myomectomy may attempt fibroid removal while keeping the uterus intact, however, this still requires invasive surgery.

Luckily, modern medical technological advances have resulted in non-surgical fibroid treatments that effectively remove fibroids with much faster recovery times than traditional surgeries.

Fibroid embolization is one of the most innovative fibroid treatments available for women today. This minimally invasive procedure is performed in a surgical setting under light sedation to minimize any discomfort. A radiologist will use x-rays to guide a catheter to the uterine artery and release embolic agents to block the blood flow to the fibroids. When deprived of blood and the essential oxygen and nutrients it carries through the body, the fibroids shrink. The uterus itself stays healthy and whole. Most patients stay overnight for observation and are back to normal activities within five days. Some of the benefits of this treatment include that only a small incision is needed to insert the catheter. Recovery is even quicker than laparoscopic surgeries and general anesthesia is not necessary.

If you are showing signs of fibroid symptoms and think you have fibroids, schedule an appointment for a professional diagnosis. One of our fibroid surgeons will talk to you about your symptoms and perform a pelvic exam. We may order further testing including an imaging procedure such as an ultrasound. If uterine fibroids are diagnosed we will discuss the best fibroid treatment for you. Here at the Fibroid Treatment Collective, we offer free consultations in-office or over the phone. Feel free to contact us for more information. To learn more about fibroids, visit our homepage. 

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