What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids, sometimes called myomas or leiomyomas, are non-cancerous uterine tumors affecting millions of women in the United States.
While many women experience non-symptomatic fibroids that require only monitoring, fibroids can cause significant discomfort and fertility challenges. Common symptoms include an enlarged uterus, heavy menstrual bleeding, and persistent abdominal pain.
For many women, fibroids can cause significant strain during menstrual cycles and negatively impact their normal lives.
The expert team at Dallas Fibroid Center recognizes how fibroids can disrupt more than a daily routine — fibroids can affect fertility, cause debilitating pain, and even change your physical appearance.
Fortunately, modern treatments for uterine fibroids relieve symptoms without requiring lengthy hospital stays or invasive surgery. Our fibroid specialists offer holistic, individualized care that yields exceptional results for the majority of patients.
Contact us today to explore your treatment options if you’re struggling with symptomatic fibroids.
Uterine Fibroid Signs and Symptoms
Fibroid symptoms can vary from patient to patient and include the following signs:
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
- Unusually long menstrual periods
- Urinary incontinence, frequency, and urgency
- Pelvic discomfort
- Varicose veins
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Abdominal enlargement
- Weight gain
- Pregnancy and fertility complications
Although most women experience some fibroid symptoms, a small number of those affected may not attribute the symptoms to fibroids. Fibroid symptoms can mimic other medical disorders like adenomyosis, so it’s important to undergo an examination for a definitive diagnosis.
Uterine fibroids can grow on the uterine wall, in the cavity, or in the muscle. Fibroid size can vary dramatically — they can be as small as one millimeter and as large as four inches in diameter. The tumors are made up of uterine muscle cells and fibrous tissues, and they are categorized into four different types.
Types of fibroids
- Intramural: Fibroids that grow in the uterine wall.
- Pedunculated: A fibroid that attaches to the wall by a narrow stalk-like growth.
- Submucosal: Fibroids that grow under the uterine cavity lining. These are the rarest type of fibroids.
- Subserosal: Fibroids that develop on the uterine exterior. These are the most common type of fibroids.
- Calcified Fibroids: Calcified fibroids are a type of fibroid tumor that occurs when calcium deposits build up and harden an existing fibroid. Calcification makes it harder to remove them and can cause symptoms like pelvic pain, heavy periods, and trouble getting pregnant.
Despite their direct impact on the uterus, there is no link between uterine fibroids and uterine cancer.
It is still unknown what causes fibroids, but patients typically develop fibroids during peak childbearing years. Several other factors might put you at greater risk, including:
- Having a parent or grandparent with fibroids
- Being of African or Latin descent
- Being obese
- Vitamin deficiency
- Regular consumption of alcoholic beverages
- A red meat-heavy diet
Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
There are several effective and minimally invasive treatment options that deliver highly positive outcomes for most patients. These include the following:
- Endometrial Ablation
- Hormone-regulating medications
- Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
While most patients achieve exceptional outcomes from the above-mentioned treatments, some instances might require more invasive interventions like hysterectomy.
Symptomless fibroids that do not affect fertility might not require treatment, but your doctor could recommend monitoring their growth.
Comprehensive Fibroid Treatment in Dallas
The treatment of uterine fibroids is recommended if you are experiencing symptoms impacting your quality of life and daily activities.
You can significantly alleviate symptoms with a variety of minimally invasive options.
Contact us today to book an appointment or for more information about fibroid care.