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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.

Understanding Calcified Fibroids

woman's stomach in pain from calcified fibroids

What is a calcified fibroid?

A calcified fibroid is when a fibroid has reached the final stage of degeneration, or cell death and calcium deposits develop on the remaining fibroid tissue. Fibroids are benign tumors that grow in or on the uterine walls. Each woman with fibroids has a unique experience including the rate of growth. When a fibroid grows quickly, it can become too large to be sustained by the blood vessel supplying it with the oxygen and nutrients necessary to keep the growth alive.

Fibroid degeneration is most common as a woman approaches menopause. The hormonal change often stimulates fibroid growth, leading to degeneration and the build up of calcium deposits.

When a woman’s fibroid(s) calcify, it indicated the end stages of degeneration and she may experience less pain or abnormal periods than during the growth and degeneration periods. When the calcified fibroid is large, it may put pressure on the bladder and bowel causing the need for frequent urination, incontinence issues, constipation, or diarrhea. A woman may also experience some pain or uncomfortable pressure in her lower abdomen or waist. If calcification occurs before menopause, the woman may experience increased or heavier flow during her period. Calcified fibroids can also cause complications in pregnancy including miscarriage, premature placenta detachment, or breech positioning.

How do I know if I have a calcified fibroid?

Calcified fibroids are usually diagnosed with a non-invasive ultrasound, MRI or CT scan. These are the same technologies used to diagnose normal fibroid tumors. Calcified uterine fibroids have a distinctive appearance on these reports, making it easy for the radiologist to recognize them and distinguish them from other tumors. In some cases, fibroid tumors that are only partly calcified may be discovered.

How are Calcified Fibroids Different from Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that grow within or in close proximity to the uterus. These benign tumors are made of muscular tissue and can be present without being detected at all. While there are definitive references and categories for the varying types of fibroids differentiating how they grow, etc. the cause of fibroids is not known and is generally attributed to hereditary factors, and estrogen levels.

Fibroids can vary in size, location and ability to grow. Some fibroids do not grow once formed and others can grow from being barely visible to becoming large and weighing many pounds. Some women do not experience any symptoms.

Calcified fibroids are different only because they typically have become larger than the blood supply that was attributed to the growth. Now that the blood supply has been compromised the tumor degenerates and may become smaller. In this process calcium is produced and leaves deposits on the mass. The fibroid is now calcified and has a somewhat grainy texture.

The treatment options for the calcified fibroid do not vary from the treatment modalities that were available to treat the fibroid prior to the calcification. A major factor in treatment is whether or not you want to bear children.

It is necessary to have a gynecologist who is aware of the modern approaches to calcified fibroid treatment as there have been many new additions to the course of symptom relief.

How are calcified fibroids treated?

There are a variety of treatments available for calcified fibroids. The first step in any treatment plan should be a thorough diagnostic assessment including a detailed conversation about the symptoms, a pelvic exam, and imaging tests, if necessary. The symptoms common to fibroids can also be caused by other conditions such as uterine polyps, polycystic ovary syndrome, or endometriosis. The treatments for each condition are different, so an accurate diagnosis is essential to effective treatment. Many doctors will suggest a conservative approach to treating fibroids including the use of over the counter NSAID painkillers or ibuprofen to address pain and cramping. Some women may also benefit from birth control pills to regulate their hormones or progesterone creams to provide relief from some of the discomfort associated with calcified fibroids.

In more severe cases, the doctor may recommend a myomectomy, which is the removal of the fibroid, or a hysterectomy if the fibroid is too large or embedded in the uterine wall. However, for many women, by the time a fibroid reaches the calcification stage, the worst of her symptoms are over and if the fibroid is not negatively affecting her fertility, some doctors may suggest doing nothing and waiting out.

What should I do if I have a calcified fibroid?

If you have a calcified fibroid, it is highly likely that you have experienced some painful symptoms including abnormal or heavy periods, severe cramping and abdominal pain, urinary issues, weight gain, and/or swelling in the lower waist. You may have already seen a doctor about these symptoms and are in a treatment plan. If you haven’t, make an appointment for diagnosis. The doctors at the Fibroid Treatment Center in Beverly Hill, California, are the leading fibroid specialists in the United States and offer thorough testing and treatment for women of all ages suffering from fibroids. They take women’s health and well-being seriously and have pioneered innovative treatments to shrink and remove fibroids, improving many women’s quality of life.

What is a Degenerating Fibroids?

Degenerating Fibroid

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow on or in the muscular walls of the uterus. As such, they are rarely going to prove a significant danger. However, they do have a range of negative effects if left untreated. In some cases, they can develop into what are called degenerating fibroids.

While fibroids are non-cancerous, they cause uncomfortable and often painful symptoms and can lead to infertility. If fibroids aggressively grow, they can degenerate, causing significant pain to the patient. Since they are living tissue, they require oxygen and nutrients to survive and grow.
These components are supplied by blood vessels in and around the uterus.

When fibroids become too large, the blood vessels supplying the blood are no longer able to provide enough sustenance to meet the fibroid’s needs. Though this may seem good at first, it can have unpleasant effects. When this happens, the cells of the fibroid begin to die in a process called degeneration.

What are the Main Symptoms of Degenerating Fibroids

The most reliable way to identify fibroids is by professional diagnosis. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, they may be a sign of fibroids. The main signs of fibroids include:

Many women experience painful cramping during their periods due to fibroids. However, one of the main indicators of a degenerating fibroid is an acute stabbing pain and swelling in the abdomen. The pain and swelling are caused by the release of chemicals from the fibroids as the cells die. Some women may also experience a fever.

Degenerating Fibroids: Changes in Symptoms

Once enough of the fibroid cells have died, it can survive on the blood flow available from the blood vessels. In other words, the degenerating fibroids have reached a pause. Since it is no longer degenerating, the pain often subsides. Still, it is essential to seek treatment. There is the risk that once the blood supply returns to the fibroid, it will begin to grow again. When this happens, the cycle continues. Eventually, it will reach the point of degeneration once more.

Variations of Degenerating Fibroids

In rare circumstances, the fibroid grows on a stalk of tissue extending from the uterine wall. In such cases, the stalk can twist and cut off the supply of blood. When this happens, the fibroid begins to die. However, the pain can become severe and last significantly longer than an average degeneration.

Surgery may be necessary to remove the fibroid and stop the pain. However, your physician will discuss all possible treatment options with you.

Another variation of fibroid degeneration occurs during pregnancy. It is called necrobiosis. The symptoms of necrobiosis include severe abdominal pain and bleeding. Understandably, both of which are particularly worrisome during pregnancy. For peace of mind, we recommend seeking a diagnosis as soon as possible.

Duration of Symptoms for Degenerating Fibroids

The pain of degeneration can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Many patients can treat the pain with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or heating pads. However, it is important to have professional medical assessment and treatment. This is especially true if you have severe pain, abnormal bleeding, or any of the symptoms associated with fibroids.

Even if your symptoms seem to have subsided, we recommend that you come in for evaluation. Your fibroid may simply have stopped degenerating. If this is the case, you may feel fewer or lessened symptoms for a time. But, they will inevitably return until you fully treat the fibroids. The only way to solve the problem is to get to the root of it.

What are Degenerating Fibroids Treatment Options?

At the Fibroid Treatment Center in Beverly Hills, our doctors are pioneers in uterine fibroid embolization. This is a cutting-edge non-surgical fibroid treatment. Using the latest advances in medicine, they developed and perfected an embolization fibroid treatment.

This treatment has a high success rate in not only removing fibroids but preventing reoccurrence. This second effect is utterly crucial. If you only treat the symptoms, you will continue to suffer from degenerating fibroids. But, when you treat the root problem, you restore your body to a more balanced state.

We offer technologically advanced forms of diagnosis to improve accuracy and detection. Our expert physicians make the most of imaging tests such as ultrasounds and MRIs to accurately identify fibroids. Additionally, we use a variety of minimally invasive treatments to remove the growths. Every step of the way, our goal is to keep you comfortable and safe.

Risks of Living With Fibroids

Women who suffer from fibroids do not have to live with the symptoms. There is a way to say goodbye to heavy bleeding, painful cramping, and the other troublesome symptoms of fibroids. You do not need to suffer through the acute pain of a degenerating fibroid. They do not need to put their fertility at risk. There is treatment available.

Living with fibroids may not be life-threatening, but it still severely impacts your life. You can experience negative effects that are both physical and emotional, only worsening the longer you have them. Instead, take this chance to take control back over your body. It is time to stop living with pain and discomfort. Call the best fibroids doctors Beverly Hills has to offer.

Fibroid Relief

If you are showing any symptoms and think you have fibroids, schedule an appointment for a professional diagnosis. One of our medical professionals 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 fibroids are diagnosed, we will discuss the best fibroid treatment for you. Here at the Fibroid Treatment Center, we offer free consultations in-office or over the phone. We encourage you to contact us for more information and to have any questions answered. To learn more about fibroids, visit our homepage.

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 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.

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.

However, 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 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. 

Fibroids and the Emotional Pain and Stress

Emotional Stress Caused by Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths that develop just inside or outside of a woman’s uterus or womb. They are non-cancerous and develop from normal muscle tissue that starts growing abnormally to form a benign tumor. This very common condition affects many women after puberty and usually over the age of 30. Uterine fibroids may be small enough that a woman does not even realize they are there, or they can grow into painful, large tumors that affect everyday life.

Do Fibroids Make You Tired?

Uterine fibroids can cause great stress in a relationship in addition to being debilitating to women. The pain associated with fibroids can be unbearable, this paired with an enlarged uterus, lack of mobility and reduced energy can be heart wrenching. Add long, heavy menstrual periods that seem like they will never end and extreme pain during intercourse and it seems as if fibroids have taken over your life. Stress paired with interrupted sleep patterns forms a vicious cycle that leaves you tired both mentally and physically. Carrying around the extra weight and size of fibroids can also be stressful and place pain on your pelvis, just as if you are pregnant. The extra size and weight further inhibits your mobility to do simple tasks on a daily basis. The lack of energy alone is depressing when you are just too tired to accomplish everyday activities as you used to.

There is no need to experience all of the pain and stress associated with fibroids because a newer procedure can be life changing and gives you your old life back immediately. Learn all about uterine fibroids and the specific procedure to remove them.

Possible Factors of Uterine Fibroids

Women who have had children have a lower risk of getting fibroids. Women who experience their first menstruation before the age of 10 are much more likely to develop fibroids. Women who take birth control pills are less likely to develop uterine fibroids and history of fibroids in the family, such as a sister or mother, makes a woman more likely to have fibroids. The growth of fibroids depends on the female hormone estrogen, so they develop after puberty and may tend to shrink or disappear after menopause because of the decline of estrogen levels. Waiting for this time in life in the hopes painful fibroids shrink is not a good option for women.

Symptoms of Fibroids

Most of the uterine fibroids are small enough that women do not notice any signs; however, larger tumors have distinct symptoms that can be very uncomfortable. Menstrual periods can last seven days or longer and provide discomfort with extremely heavy bleeding. Fibroids can cause a feeling of fullness or bloating in the stomach or pelvis area with pain. Uterine fibroids can cause constipation and extreme pain with intercourse.  A woman with fibroids may urinate frequently or have difficulty emptying her bladder. Backache and leg pain can also signal that uterine fibroids are present in a woman.

Uterine Fibroid Complications

Prolonged menstrual periods accompanied by heavy bleeding can cause a lack of iron, resulting in anemia in a woman with uterine fibroids. Anemia causes great tiredness and a lack of energy. It persists by not producing red blood cells at a rate fast enough to carry oxygen to body tissues.

A uterine fibroid can cause great pain if it hangs by a stalk and twists, thereby cutting of the blood supply from the fibroid.

Uterine fibroids can grow so large that your uterus expands to the size of a full term pregnancy and cause pressure on the uterus, making it hard to go about everyday activities. It can also cause backaches and restricts your movements.

Fibroids can cause pelvic pain that is constant or occasional and it can range from mild to extreme. It may be worse with intercourse or bowel movements.

Diagnosis of Uterine Fibroids

The moderate and larger sized fibroids can often be felt by a doctor in a manual pelvic exam. Imaging tests can confirm the presence. An ultrasound probe inserted into the vagina or passed over the pelvis on the abdomen can confirm uterine fibroids as well as an MRI scanner.

Traditional Surgical Procedures

Traditionally, a hysterectomy was used to remove the entire uterus and the uterine fibroids in or around it. This procedure makes a woman unable to bear any children. A hysterectomy is a major surgery that requires a lot of time for recovery and often can have complications afterward.

An abdominal myomectomy is used to remove fibroids from a woman’s uterus.  This surgery consists of a major abdominal surgery, which in turn can have complications of the incision and major downtime to recover.

Each of these types of major surgery require at least four days in the hospital and a long, 6-week recovery period.

Non-Surgical Approach

Uterine fibroid embolization is the best approach to remove fibroids. The patient does not need general anesthesia in an endovascular procedure. The procedure includes local anesthesia to the groin and making a tiny nick in the upper thigh. A catheter is inserted into the uterine arteries on each side of the groin that supply blood to the fibroid. Tiny particles are injected into each one that block the blood flow to the fibroid and cause it to shrink. This minimally invasive procedure allows women to return to work and normal daily activities within only one week.

The advantages of embolization over a major surgery alone make it one of the best procedures for uterine fibroids. It is a safe, simple procedure that only takes about 30 minutes with no hospital stay. You have less recovery time, no recurrence of fibroids and you keep your fertility so you can continue to have children. The best advantage is immediate relief from pain, anemia, heavy cycles and fatigue.

You can return to your old self immediately and start living your life on your terms instead of living a life on your fibroids terms. Call (866) 479-1523 today!

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