IF YOU’VE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH FIBROIDS OR SUSPECT YOU HAVE THEM, WE’LL WORK WITH YOU ON AN APPROPRIATE TREATMENT PLAN THAT WORKS FOR YOU. WE CAN ALSO DO MOST IMAGING AND DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES IN OUR OFFICE SO YOU SAVE TIME.
Uterine fibroids are extremely common. As many as 80 percent of women develop fibroids by the age 50, and they are most common among women in their 40s and early 50s.
Your physician may find them during a routine pelvic exam, or you might have an ultrasound that reveals them.
If fibroids are suspected from a physical exam, your physician will order an ultrasound to confirm. If the ultrasound is unable to reveal enough information, additional imaging tests, such as an MRI, may be ordered. Procedures known as laparoscopy and hysteroscopy may also be recommended to definitively identify the presence of fibroids.
The goal of these tests is to identify how many fibroids you have, where they are, and what sort of treatment will be most beneficial. Although classified as muscular tumors, fibroids are very rarely cancerous.
Uterine fibroids are classified based on where they grow:
- Submucosal fibroids grow into the uterine cavity.
- Intramural fibroids grow within the wall of the uterus.
- Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus.
Not all fibroids are the same. Some are microscopic, while others can grow as large as grapefruits or larger. In addition, some may cause symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, lower back pain, pain during sex, frequent urination, or stomach enlargement. Others may cause no symptoms at all.
Treatment options also vary based on the type of fibroid and how disruptive are the symptoms. Anti-hormone medication can shrink them, and they also stop growing or shrink once a woman reaches menopause. Surgical or other procedures may also be considered, including:
- Myomectomy: surgery to remove the fibroid while leaving healthy uterine tissue
- Myolysis: destruction of the fibroids, usually via laparoscopy
- Endometrial ablation: destroying or removing the uterine lining
- Uterine fibroid embolization or uterine artery embolization: procedure to block blood supply to the fibroid.
- Partial or full hysterectomy – removing the uterus and other reproductive organs
Fibroids are common, but they are unique for each individual. Understanding your unique symptoms and having an individualized diagnosis are essential to have the treatment that’s right for you. There are options.
At Women’s Health Domain, we believe women should have control over their health and health care. If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids or suspect you have them, we’ll work with you on an appropriate treatment plan that works for you. We can also do most imaging and diagnostic procedures in our office so you save time.
You can schedule an appointment any time online or call us during the week at 512-425-3825.