When it comes to fibroids, you might be interested to learn that location matters. Uterine fibroids, noncancerous tumors that develop in or on the uterus, are a common health issue during the childbearing years, affecting an estimated 70 to 80 percent of women by age 50.
There are three main types of fibroids, classified by location: intramural, subserosal, and submucosal. Submucosal fibroids are the least common type, but most likely to be behind severe heavy bleeding. If you’ve been diagnosed with submucosal uterine fibroids, you probably have some questions and concerns. Here’s what our fibroid specialists want you to know about submucosal fibroids, their symptoms, and your submucosal fibroid treatment options.
What Is a Submucosal Fibroid?
Submucosal uterine fibroids are benign growths located within the inner lining of the uterus, or endometrium. They can develop individually or in clusters. As we mentioned above, submucosal fibroids are most likely to cause very heavy menstrual bleeding.
Heavy periods can disrupt your life, but they can also be a sign of an underlying health issue. Ignoring heavy bleeding may mean ignoring another condition that could impact your fertility, reproductive health, and overall well-being. For some women, this type of excessive bleeding can lead to the development of anemia, a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, low energy, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
Common symptoms of submucosal fibroids include:
- Heavy and prolonged menstruation between or during your periods
- Anemia, sometimes severe
- Pain in your pelvis or lower back
- Passing frequent or large blood clots
- Fatigue and dizziness
If you are experiencing submucosal fibroid symptoms, we suggest contacting your doctor or a fibroid specialist as soon as possible. Many symptoms of fibroids are similar to the symptoms of other reproductive tract conditions. Some of these are considered dangerous and can be life-threatening. Therefore, a proper medical evaluation is crucial.
Uterine fibroids can often be detected during a routine pelvic exam. If your doctor suspects you have fibroids, they will likely order ultrasound or MRI medical imaging to determine your fibroids’ location, number, and size. The good news is that a range of fibroid treatment options exist. Appropriate treatment can eliminate your symptoms and quickly get you back to normal life.
Submucosal Fibroid Treatment Options
When it comes to fibroid treatment, it is essential to explore your full range of options. Many women believe that a hysterectomy, the complete surgical removal of the uterus, is their only option. However, this is rarely the case.
Many women with fibroids are candidates for a minimally-invasive, non-surgical fibroid treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE can shrink your fibroids, eliminate symptoms, preserve fertility, and quickly return you to normal life. Of the effective treatments for fibroids, Uterine Fibroid Embolization is the least invasive.
Myomectomy, a surgical procedure that removes only the fibroids, is another potential treatment option.
Endometrial ablation — Endometrial ablation destroys the lining of the uterus. The treatment does not shrink the fibroid(s) but can help to decrease heavy menstrual bleeding caused by fibroids. In fact, some women who have endometrial ablation stop having menstrual periods.
To discover the best method for your submucosal uterine fibroid treatment, we recommend visiting a fibroid specialist.
Comparing Fibroid Types: What’s Different About Submucosal Fibroids?
No matter what type of fibroids you have, we want to assure you that there’s help available. The three main types of uterine fibroids include:
Intramural: This common type develops within the uterine wall. Common symptoms include heavy periods lasting 10 days or more, bleeding between periods, pelvic pain, and lower back pain. Although intramural fibroids often go unnoticed when small, they can grow quite large and ultimately cause problems.
Subserosal: These fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus and can protrude into the pelvic cavity. Subserosal fibroids can be attached to the uterus directly or by a thin stalk, or peduncle. They tend to cause different symptoms than those of intramural fibroids, including a feeling of heaviness or fullness, frequent urination, constipation or bloating, and abdominal pain or cramping.
Submucosal: Like intramural fibroids, submucosal fibroids grow within the uterine cavity. However, because they develop beneath the innermost layer of the uterus, they tend to cause very heavy bleeding. They can also impact fertility and cause pregnancy complications.
Contact USA Fibroid Centers!
Although some women with submucosal fibroids don’t experience symptoms at all, others are severely impacted. Painful, uncomfortable, and inconvenient fibroid symptoms can affect careers, social relationships, self-esteem, and the ability to perform daily tasks.
Whether you are diagnosed with submucosal fibroids or another type, we encourage you to look into all your treatment options. At USA Fibroid Centers, we specialize in performing Uterine Fibroid Embolization for intramural and subserosal fibroids.
To consult with one of our top-rated specialists, schedule an appointment online today. You can come to one of our clinic locations or opt for a telemedicine visit. Either way, we look forward to helping you find relief.