What are fibroids?
Fibroids are benign (noncancerous) tumors that grow in the muscle tissue of your uterus. Also called myomas, fibroids vary greatly in size, shape, and location.
A fibroid can range in size from a tiny seed to a large grapefruit. They can develop inside your uterus, on the outer surface, or within the uterine wall. Some fibroids may attach to your uterus by a stem-like structure.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
You may have fibroids without experiencing any symptoms at all. Fibroid symptoms vary depending on the size, number, and location of the tumors. If you do experience symptoms of fibroids, they may include:
- Menstrual periods that are longer, heavier, or more frequent
- Vaginal bleeding in between periods
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sex
- Frequent urination
Rarely, fibroids can cause infertility, or difficulty getting pregnant. However, in cases where fibroids are thought to contribute to infertility, most women are able to get pregnant after treatment.
How do fibroids affect pregnancy?
Most women with fibroids have typical, uncomplicated pregnancies. But having fibroids does increase your chances of developing complications during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth.
The most common pregnancy complications that occur in women with fibroids include:
- Needing a Cesarean section
- Preterm (early) delivery
The expert obstetricians at Lievano Perez Obstetrics and Gynecology of Miami specialize in managing high-risk pregnancies. They work with you to ensure you and your baby stay as healthy as possible.
How do you diagnose and treat fibroids?
Your OB-GYN at Lievano Perez Obstetrics and Gynecology of Miami may detect fibroids when you see them for a wellness visit. They may be able to feel a lump or mass during your pelvic exam. Or, they may order tests, such as diagnostic ultrasound, to check for fibroids based on the symptoms you describe.
In some cases, you may need a surgical procedure, such as diagnostic laparoscopy, to confirm that you have fibroids. This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a thin instrument with a camera lens into a tiny incision in your abdomen to visually examine your uterus.
Treatment varies depending on the size of the fibroids and severity of your symptoms. Mild to moderate fibroid symptoms may improve with medications, such as hormonal birth control. Fibroids that cause moderate to severe symptoms may require surgery to remove them.