What Size Fibroid Is Considered Large?
Although the exact cause of fibroid growth is unknown, we know that uterine fibroids are influenced by hormones that affect the uterine lining –– including estrogen and progesterone. Perhaps not surprisingly, fibroids are therefore common during the childbearing years –– with 70 to 80 percent of women affected by age 50.
It is often observed that fibroids go through growth spurts, particularly during times of increased hormones in the body like pregnancy. Fibroids may begin to develop quickly, but then slow down and speed up at different intervals. This is often seen when fibroid symptoms decrease for a few weeks and then become worse than before. This is why it’s important not to disregard your symptoms and wait for them to improve.
Fibroid Size Classifications
Uterine fibroids can vary in size from as small as a seed to as large as a melon, and they can develop as multiples. Whereas a single fibroid may be less than an inch, groups and clusters of fibroids can be much larger. It is also possible for individual fibroids to grow very large in some cases.
Depending on the fibroid size classification and location, fibroids can affect various parts of your body, even expanding the uterus so that it impacts other organs or blocking the fallopian tubes, which may cause difficulty conceiving.
UTERINE FIBROID SIZE CHART:
- Small (less than 1 cm – 5 cm) – Size of a seed to a cherry.
- Medium (5 cm – 10 cm) – Size of a plum to an orange.
- Large (10 cm or more) – Size of a grapefruit to a watermelon.
The largest fibroid ever removed was reported to weigh over 100 lbs. You can imagine how the weight of large fibroids can put stress on the uterus and body. This is, of course, an extremely rare case of a large fibroid; however, it can be common for fibroids to weigh a few pounds, which can still negatively impact surrounding organs and cause a range of painful and unpleasant symptoms.
Without a proper diagnosis by a fibroid specialist and a fibroid sizes chart, it is tough to determine the size of your fibroids. Some larger fibroids may make the abdominal or belly area protrude outwards, similar to that of a pregnancy. This can sometimes be a visible indicator that you have larger fibroids.
Although fibroids can often be detected during a routine pelvic exam, your doctor will use an ultrasound or magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose your fibroids. Once diagnosed, they will work with you to create a treatment plan you feel confident with. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, click to schedule online today.
Which Size of Fibroid Is Dangerous?
You may be wondering, are large fibroids dangerous? Along with often causing heavy menstrual bleeding and severe cramps, large and medium-sized fibroids can impact surrounding organs by causing an expanded abdominal area, frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, or constipation. Because the uterus sits very close to the rectum and bladder, medium to large-sized fibroids may put pressure on these organs.
Although none of these issues are inherently dangerous, these fibroids can cause a fair amount of pain, discomfort, and inconvenience. For some women, fertility can also be affected.
What Size of Fibroid Needs Surgery or Removal?
For a fibroid size classification of very large, very small, or anything in between, the good news is that there’s effective treatment available. Depending on the size, number, and location of your fibroids, treatment recommendations can vary. Keep in mind that there are both surgical and nonsurgical methods out there.
Although many believe that hysterectomy –– the complete surgical removal of the uterus –– may be necessary, this is almost never true. Nonsurgical treatment methods are effective in relieving symptoms and allow you to quickly return to normal activity. Fibroid surgery, on the other hand, typically involves a six to eight-week recovery.
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids of any size, we recommend visiting a fibroid specialist to learn about your full range of treatment options.
Do Large Fibroids Go Away On Their Own?
If left untreated, fibroid symptoms can become progressive, getting worse over time. It is important to treat fibroids early on in order to live a healthy, full life. Fibroid symptoms like heavy bleeding, frequent urination, pain during sex, fatigue caused by anemia, pelvic pain, etc. can negatively impact your life. It’s important to remember that fibroids affect both your mental and physical health. If large fibroids are left untreated, they may grow larger and could potentially rupture or degenerate.
Although smaller-sized fibroids may not require treatment, it is nonetheless important to have yours evaluated by a fibroid specialist. If they grow too large, treatment options may become limited.
Because fibroids tend to shrink after menopause, it is possible that large fibroids may become smaller at some point in your life. However, if heavy, prolonged periods, or any other symptoms are taking control over your decisions right now, it’s time to find treatment. There’s no need to suffer any longer.
How to Treat Large Fibroids
Uterine Fibroid Embolization, or UFE, is a nonsurgical, office-based procedure to treat large, bothersome, or numerous fibroids. UFE works by targeting the fibroids’ nutritional and blood source: the artery. Embolic agents are injected through a catheter to the fibroid to block the opening. Once the blood flow is cut off, the fibroid will naturally shrink and die. Due to the fact that the embolic agents permanently stay inside the artery, it is highly unlikely for that fibroid to regrow.
Some of the many advantages of Uterine Fibroid Embolization treatment include:
- Minimally invasive approach
- No hospital stay required
- General anesthesia not needed
- Short recovery period of one to two weeks
- No stitches or scarring
- Can effectively eliminate fibroid symptoms
- Uterus remains intact
- Can retain your fertility
Where Can I Find Fibroid Treatment Near Me?
At USA Fibroid Centers, we’ve made treating your fibroid symptoms even easier. Our centers are rooted within the communities we serve; therefore, there’s a good chance we have a fibroid treatment center in your neighborhood. Visit our locations page to find a clinic near you or give us a call at 855.615.2555 to schedule your initial appointment today.
For your safety and convenience during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now offering virtual doctor visits. When visiting any of our locations in person, please rest assured that we have implemented strict precautionary measures to prevent the spread of contagious disease. We look forward to meeting you –– either virtually or in real life!