Treatment for Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids are benign, abnormal growths in a woman’s uterus. Fibroids affect 70 to 80 percent of women in their lifetime however they can be treated. If left untreated fibroids can cause abdominal pain as well as heavy periods.

The board-certified gynecologists at South Miami Women’s Health provide treatment for uterine fibroids in Miami, FL. Learn about your treatment options and call (305) 665-9644 to schedule your appointment today.

Risk Factors of Uterine Fibroids

There are many factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing fibroids, including:

  • Genetics. If other members of your family have experienced uterine fibroids, you have a higher risk of getting them as well.
  • Age. While menopause will usually help shrink fibroids on their own, women who are over 30 have a higher risk of getting fibroids.
  • Hormonal Imbalances. Abnormal amount of certain hormones can increase your chance of getting fibroids. Estrogen and progesterone have the potential to cause the growth of fibroids.
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body produces more estrogen and progesterone. Therefore pregnancy can be a cause of uterine fibroids.
  • Diet. Eating a diet highly consisting of raw meat and ham can increase your risk of getting fibroids, while a diet high in greens and veggies can decrease your chance of getting fibroids.

Common Symptoms of Fibroids

In most cases fibroids are asymptomatic and do not cause any symptoms. This can make it difficult women to tell whether or not they have fibroids. When symptoms are present, they commonly include heavy bleeding, frequent urination, painful intercourse, lower back pain and a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. If you experience these symptoms, your gynecologist will either perform an ultrasound, MRI or X-ray to properly diagnose your condition.

Treating Uterine Fibroids at South Florida Women’s Health

There are a number of effective treatment options for uterine fibroids ranging from medications to surgical procedures. Your gynecologist at South Miami Women’s Health will determine the best treatment option for you based on a thorough evaluation.

Medications

Low-dose birth controls can help stop fibroids from growing. They can also control heavy bleeding. If pain is the only symptom, over-the-counter pain medicine will help.

Endometrial Ablation

Doctors remove the lining of the uterus to control heavy bleeding caused by fibroids.

Surgery to remove uterine fibroids without taking out healthy tissue.

Surgical removal of the uterus.

Uterine Fibroid FAQs

The highly trained OBGYNs at South Miami Women’s Health have provided this list of frequently asked questions to help patients better understand uterine fibroid symptoms and treatment options. If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call our office in South Miami at (305) 665-9644.

A fibroid is a benign mass of cells that exist within the tissues of the uterus. These lumps are not cancerous, though they can cause significant symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, chronic pain, and more.

Fibroids are an extremely common female condition, and are said to affect up to 80% of all women by age 50, though not every individual will present symptoms of fibroids. Many women that do experience difficulties with fibroids will begin to notice symptoms as their benign tumors gradually grow larger over time. This growth is likely to continue, along with worsening symptoms, if the woman’s fibroids remain untreated.

Unfortunately, there is no one particular cause to fibroids. Medical professionals and researchers speculate that the development of uterine fibroids is related to hormonal imbalances as well as the patient’s genetic history, meaning that individuals have little to no control over their risk for encountering this condition.

In addition to having irregular hormone levels and a family history of fibroids, other factors that can influence a woman’s risk of developing fibroids are:

  • Her age: Fibroids are most commonly diagnosed between age 30 and 40.
  • Her weight: Obese individuals are more likely to suffer from fibroids. The more weight a woman carries, the greater her risk.
  • Her ethnicity: African-American women encounter problems with uterine fibroids more than any other ethnic group.
  • Her diet: More recent studies have shown that a high intake of red meat can negatively impact a woman’s likelihood to develop fibroid. In contrast, eating more leafy greens and fruit can have a positive effect on this particular risk factor.

As mentioned, fibroids typically cause excessive bleeding along with recurring pelvic pain. This pain is often misdiagnosed by patients as regular cramping during their menstrual cycle, but is most often the result of the positioning or increasing size of their uterine fibroids.

In addition to heavy bleeding and pain, fibroids can also cause:

  • Bloating of the lower abdomen
  • Frequent and sudden need to urinate
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Problems with fertility
  • Low back pain
  • Complications during pregnancy

Uterine fibroids can appear in various areas of the uterus, leading to different categorization based on the location of the patient’s tissue mass. There are 4 distinct types of fibroids, which include:

  • Pedunculated fibroids: A fibroid that develops a supportive stem that forms at the base of the tumor.
  • Subserosal fibroids: A type of uterine fibroid that grows along the outside of the uterus.
  • Intramural fibroids: The most common kind of uterine fibroid, which appears within the uterine wall itself.
  • Submucosal fibroids: Similar to the intramural fibroid type, these fibroids also develop within the uterine wall, though they more specifically exist within the submucosal layer of this muscular tissue.

Uterine fibroids are often diagnosed during a woman’s routine gynecological examination, which she should be completing every single year as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Depending upon the particular location of the patient’s fibroid, your OBGYN may need to conduct an ultrasound or pelvic MRI in order to definitively confirm or deny a case of uterine fibroids.

There are a variety of treatment methods available for women with uterine fibroids. Individuals who do not experience significant symptoms of fibroids are unlikely to ever require treatment, but those who frequently suffer from pain and discomfort from fibroids should consult with your OBGYN about their options.

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