Accepting Telehealth appointments

Your Options for Problematic Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are common for many women, regardless of age. Fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus. Fibroids are also known as leiomyomas (lie-o-my-O-muhs) or myomas. They are generally not associated with cancer and do not typically pose a life-threatening risk. 

Fibroids come in many shapes and sizes. They can be as small as seedlings or as large as a bulky mass and discomfort. You can have a single fibroid or many of them. In certain extreme cases, multiple fibroids can expand your uterus to the point that it reaches your rib cage and can add weight.

Dr. Lillian Schapiro and Dr. Kristan Adams at Ideal Gynecology can evaluate your fibroids and consider what treatments options may be best for you. 

Causes of uterine fibroids

Scientists and doctors have suspicions about why uterine fibroids form. There is no one cause. Some potential causes include: 

Genetics. If a family member has fibroids, you may be at risk. Your genetic makeup may also have different genes than those of normal uterine cells.

Hormones. Hormones are often a huge cause of fibroids. Estrogen and progesterone (the hormones that stimulate the development of the uterine lining) may promote growth in fibroids. Fibroids generally shrink after menopause and can decrease hormone production. Many women who have uterine fibroids experience these later in life.

Growth factors. Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like growth factor, may affect fibroid growth.

Pregnancy. During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels increase. Fibroids can develop and grow quickly during pregnancy. 

Other factors including being over the age of 30 or older, of African-American descent, and having a high body weight may also contribute to fibroids. 

Types of fibroids

The type of fibroid you have depends on its location in or on your uterus.

Intramural fibroids

Intramural fibroids are common and typically appear within the muscular wall of the uterus. Over time, they can grow larger and stretch your womb.

Subserosal fibroids

Subserosal fibroids differ from a subserosal fibroid because they grow outside the uterus. They may even get large enough to make your womb appear bigger on one side.

Pedunculated fibroids

A pedunculated fibroid is a more advanced stage. These form when a tumor develops a stem and supports the tumor. 

Symptoms

Many women who experience fibroids may not feel any symptoms at all. However, for those who do experience symptoms, the most common are: 

Treatment options 

Your doctor can recommend a variety of treatments, some of which do not require surgery. These include: 

Hormone therapy 

To prevent more fibroids from developing, your doctor may recommend you stop taking birth control or hormone replacement therapy. In certain circumstances, you may need birth control to prevent anemia (bleeding). 

Fibroid embolization

Fibroids embolization will help shrink your fibroid. Your doctor does so by injecting polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) into the arteries that help the fibroid grow. The PVA chemical bloods the blood supply, cutting off its blood supply. Though this is not surgery, it may require downtime at home. 

Myomectomy

A myomectomy is a more permanent surgical option to remove fibroids completely. In many cases, your fibroids can be removed, but scarring on the uterine wall causes infertility. A myomectomy may require abdominal surgery, or your surgeon may use a hysteroscope or laparoscope to remove the fibroids without having to make a large cut on your abdomen. 

SERMs

SERMs are a prescribed medication that helps to regulate hormone levels, specifically your estrogen levels. They work by shrinking fibroids without causing residual menopausal symptoms. 

For regular preventive care of fibroids or to discuss your treatment options, chat with the specialists at Ideal Gynecology. Book online, or call for your first appointment today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Four Alternative Uses for Birth Control

Aside from helping you prevent unwanted pregnancies, birth control can be used to treat a variety of women’s issues. Learn about some surprising benefits of birth control that don’t involve avoiding pregnancy.

Do Fibroids Resolve on Their Own?

Fibroids can cause tremendous pain, interfere with your daily life, and even disrupt your fertility. Do they fade away on their own, or do you need other care? Treatment can provide much needed relief so that you can get back to your life.

The Importance of Getting a Pap Smear

Scheduling regular screenings, such as Pap smears, even when you’re in good health, plays a role in keeping you healthy and lowering the risk of dying of chronic diseases. Read on to learn more.

How Does a Fertility Evaluation Work?

A standard fertility evaluation involves exams and tests for both partners with the goal of finding the cause of a couple’s struggles to conceive. A cause isn’t always found, but treatment increases the chances of becoming pregnant.

Understanding Your Birth Control Options

The choice to begin birth control is a personal one. Depending on if and when you plan to get pregnant, your choices and methods vary. Read on to learn about many of your available options.