Approximately 33 percent of women develop uterine fibroids before age 50.
Though many cases go unnoticed, fibroids can sometimes cause troublesome symptoms that warrant treatment. Uterine fibroid degeneration is just one aspect of fibroids that spurs people to seek help.
If you think you might be experiencing fibroid degeneration, or if you’re interested in preventing degeneration in the future, know that we’re here to support you however we can.
What Is Fibroid Degeneration?
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow inside or on the uterus. Fibroids are composed of the same muscle as the uterus and are connected to the uterine artery by blood vessels. These blood vessels supply fibroids with the oxygenated blood they need to grow and survive, just like any other part of the body.
Uterine fibroid degeneration occurs when a fibroid outgrows its limited blood supply. When the connecting blood vessels cannot provide enough oxygen to a fibroid, its cells begin to die, or degenerate. When a fibroid degenerates, it shrinks back to a smaller size that its blood supply can support.
Though fibroid degeneration does decrease the size of fibroids, it cannot manage them long-term — a degenerated fibroid is likely to expand and degenerate again. Though many people with fibroids don’t experience symptoms on a daily basis, when fibroid degeneration starts, it can cause uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms, which is why it’s important to minimize how often it occurs.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroid Degeneration
For some women, a degenerating fibroid is what first draws attention to their fibroids. Common symptoms of fibroid degeneration include:
- Acute abdominal pain lasting a few days to a few weeks
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Fever in addition to other symptoms
- Bleeding during pregnancy, resulting from a type of degeneration called necrobiosis
In rare cases, the stalk of a fibroid growing inside the uterus can become twisted, blocking blood flow to the fibroid entirely. When this happens, symptoms last significantly longer than they would normally and may require surgery. Seek help from a doctor who can provide support as soon as you notice potential symptoms.
Remember, however, that everyone experiences fibroids differently — you may feel different symptoms than others, and that’s okay.
If you’d like help assessing your condition, you can use our fibroid symptom checker.
Seeking Treatment for Uterine Fibroid Degeneration
Uterine fibroid degeneration can cause significant discomfort, but there’s hope for a life without symptoms of fibroids. At USA Fibroid Centers, we’re dedicated to helping our patients realize this hope through a minimally invasive procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). This FDA-approved treatment shrinks fibroids past the point of usual degeneration, making them less likely to cause symptoms in the future.
Whether you’re considering treatment options after being diagnosed with fibroids or wondering whether fibroid degeneration could be the source of your symptoms, our caring fibroid specialists will be happy to answer any questions you have. Reach out to us and schedule your consultation today.