What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are one of the most common, yet serious conditions that affect millions of women in their child bearing age. Fibroids are benign tumors of the female reproductive tracts. They can range in size from a single growth to multiple growths, and from very small to large. The medical name for fibroids is “leiomyoma” or “myoma”.
Types of Fibroids:
Intramural Fibroids: These fibroids grow in the walls on the uterus. These are the most common type of fibroids. When an intramural fibroid tumor expands, it tends to make the uterus feel larger than normal, which can sometimes be mistaken for pregnancy.
Subserosal Fibroids: These fibroids grow outside the uterine lining. This type of fibroid can continue to grow outward increasing in size. The growth of a subserosal fibroid tumor may put additional pressure on the surrounding organs.
Submucosal Fibroids: Theses fibroids grow under the uterine lining and can crowd in to the uterine cavity causing heavy bleeding. Large submucosal fibroid tumors may increase the size of the uterine cavity, and can block the fallopian tubes which can cause complications with fertility.
Pedunculated Fibroids: These fibroids grow in small stalks inside or outside the uterus. Symptoms associated with pedunculated fibroid tumors include pain and pressure as the fibroids can sometimes twist on the stalk.
Signs and Symptoms:
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Symptomatic fibroids can cause prolonged, painful and heavy menstrual bleeding that can continue for more than a week.
Pelvic Pain and Pressure: Feeling of fullness in the abdominal area.
Frequent Urination: Sometimes fibroids can press the bladder and cause frequent urination. Most women suffering from uterine fibroids cannot have a good night’s sleep due to frequent visits to the restroom.
Constipation and Bloating: If the fibroids grow toward your back, pressure on the rectum can cause constipation.
Risk Factors and Complications:
Heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding can lead to anemia (iron deficiency) causing tiredness and fatigue. If these symptoms are left untreated anemia can lead to heart problems.
In some cases women with fibroids experience problems getting pregnant as wells as pregnancy complications and delivery risks. Fibroids growing along the inner uterine wall may make it difficult for a fertilized egg to attach.
Fibroid Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Large fibroids can be diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam. Your doctor may perform an ultrasound to get more detailed information about the size and location of fibroids. Sometimes oral contraceptives are used to manage the level of estrogen and progesterone. Birth control is a temporary method to reduce fibroid pain or heavy bleeding. Some other hormone therapies may also give temporary relief from fibroids by stopping periods. A hysterectomy is one of the most common procedures performed for fibroids. According to National Institute of Health (NIH) 200,000 hysterectomies are performed in the US every year due to fibroids. Many women go through psychological and emotional issues after a hysterectomy procedure. Myomectomy involves the surgical removal of the fibroids and has a longer recovery time like any other surgery. At USA Fibroid Centers we offer a highly effective, FDA approved, minimally invasive and non-surgical treatment for fibroids during which the blood supply to the fibroid tumor is blocked which causes it to shrink and eventually die. After a UFE procedure, most women experience relief in their fibroid symptoms, their menstrual cycle becomes shorter and the fibroid pain disappears.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of heavy, prolonged and painful menstrual bleeding, frequent urination or pelvic pain and pressure call (855) 647 4247 to schedule a consultation with one of our leading interventional radiologists. Treatments at USA Fibroid Centers are covered by most insurance plans.