What do a sedentary lifestyle and a vitamin D deficiency have in common? Well, along with stress levels, family history, race and chemical exposure, they're both risk factors for developing uterine fibroids! Want to learn more to lower your fibroid risk? In a minute, we'll dive into managing these risks. But first, let's review the basic facts about uterine fibroids.
These are firm, muscular growths that develop in the uterine cavity, within the uterine wall, or attached to the uterus via stalk-like growths. We classify (and name fibroids) based on their location. Submucosal fibroids form inside the uterus; subserosal develop on your outer uterine surface; and intramural fibroids form within the muscular uterine wall. Finally, pedunculated fibroids form, stalk-like, outside your uterus.
Fibroid size can also vary widely. Some tumors are small enough to remain asymptomatic and undetectable. Others are large, develop in clusters, or cause symptoms such as pain, heavy periods, painful sex, or infertility. For that reason, many women choose to treat fibroids with UFE, the minimally invasive procedure offered in our Dallas interventional radiology practice. Or, better yet, they do everything they can to reduce fibroid risk, helping prevent growths from forming in the first place.
Scientists can't determine exactly why fibroids develop. But here's what the science can determine: first, fibroids disproportionately impact black women. Also, stress and depression may increase fibroid risk. And vitamin d deficiency clearly appears to increase your risk for fibroids.
You see, when your body has enough vitamin d stores, they produce an anti-fibroid effect by reducing some of the chemicals that have links to fibroid growth. In fact, vitamin stores may help explain why black women are more impacted by fibroids, because they are 10 times more likely to have this deficiency than white women!
Recently, researchers discovered that staying sedentary for 6 or more hours each day also increases fibroid risk! Specifically, remaining sedentary most increased fibroid risk for women in perimenopause (the transition period between regular menstruation and menopause.)
In combination, your fibroid risk can be impacted by each of these factors. So, if you believe you have an increased risk, and notice any fibroid symptoms, seek help right away from our fibroid specialists in Dallas. Together, we can review your treatment options.
Too many women believe that a hysterectomy is the best fibroid treatment. But that’s not always true. In reality, many women relieve fibroid symptoms with minimally invasive UFE, a procedure that cuts off blood flow to your fibroids, causing them to shrink, while preserving your uterus!
Of course, some women may prefer to surgically remove individual growths via myomectomy. And that's a personal decision. But here's what you need to really understand: there are choices when it comes to fibroid treatments. Hysterectomy is not your only option. So request an appointment with our fibroid specialists today. We'll put you on the path to relief, while helping you avoid unnecessary surgeries and premature menopause!
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