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Is it ok to Have Untreated Fibroids?

Posted on June 25, 2024

Non-cancerous uterine tumors, or fibroids, affect up to 80% of women by their 50th birthday. Some women never detect those fibroids. But others may receive a diagnosis because of intrusive symptoms like heavy bleeding; painful sex; and more. Moreover, while some women have just one small fibroids, others may have large or multiple tumors.

Clearly, there's a wide range of experiences when it comes to fibroids. And, for that reason, some women prefer to treat their tumors, while others would rather wait and see if intervention becomes necessary. But, if you fall into the latter category, you may wonder: is it ok to have untreated fibroids? Keep reading to find out.

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Untreated Fibroids and Tumor Growth

Several things could happen if you avoid or delay treating fibroids. In some cases, the fibroids could stay exactly as they are. But, in others, the tumors could keep growing (either in size or number). And that could leave you with new fibroid symptoms. Or it could worsen the ones you already have. But why would your fibroids keep growing?

Unfortunately, we don't know exactly why some fibroids grow large and others don't. But we can identify a link between the tumors' growth and levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone in your body. Now, because of that, we know that drops in hormonal levels—like the kind you experience in menopause—could naturally stop fibroid growth.

But if you're not in menopause, (and sometimes even when you are) untreated fibroids could keep growing. And, if that happens, you may have fewer treatment options if your symptom burden prompts you to seek relief. Plus, women with large or multiple fibroids may find minimally invasive procedures such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) to be less effective. In such cases, you would have to instead eventually seek surgical treatments like myomectomy or hysterectomy.

Are Untreated Fibroids a Health Risk?

In most cases, even untreated fibroids aren't considered a major health risk. But large fibroids could lead to infertility or heavy bleeding. And, if heavy bleeding goes unchecked, you'll be at an increased risk for anemia, too. As a result of these concerns, many women begin exploring their fibroid treatment options soon after receiving a diagnosis, even if they have very few small or very few tumors.

Review Your Fibroid Treatment Options in Dallas

If you have fibroids, you have treatment options. You may prefer the ‘watch and wait’ approach, monitoring tumor growth without further intervention. Or, you may prefer to treat your symptoms with hormonal birth control. (But be careful, since some hormonal medications could actually make your tumors grow in size.) Finally, you may wish to explore minimally invasive procedures, such as UFE, that shrink your fibroids by limiting the tumor's blood supply. However, for some women, it may be necessary to pursue myomectomy surgery to remove individual tumors, or a hysterectomy to remove your uterus.

Not sure whether you're ok living with untreated fibroids or if you should seek medical intervention? We’re here to answer all your questions! Request a consultation with the Dallas Fibroid Center to explore your options and learn if you're a candidate for UFE.

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