What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus.
They can be as small as a grape or as large as a cantaloupe. They are often found in the uterus muscle and affect women of childbearing age.
The exact cause of fibroids is not clear, but some known factors include hormonal imbalances, family history, obesity, and race, with women of African descent more likely to get them. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle, may also play a role in fibroid development and growth.
Fibroids can cause various symptoms based on size, number, and location.
Women with fibroids may experience:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Longer periods
- Pelvic pain
- Problems with urination
- Fertility trouble
- An increased risk of miscarriage and premature labor
Specialized fibroid doctors diagnose uterine fibroids through pelvic exams, ultrasounds, or other imaging tests.
Fibroid treatment depends on the symptoms' severity, the wish for future pregnancy, and the patient's overall health.
Small and symptom-free fibroids might not need treatment, but if symptoms are present, treatment may involve medication, non-surgical fibroid treatment, or surgery.
Regular check-ups and follow-up care may be necessary to ensure fibroids don't cause more health problems or significantly affect overall quality of life.
Uterine Fibroid Types
There are four common types of fibroids. Understanding the difference between each is vital to determine the best uterus fibroid treatment.
Subserosal fibroids are a type of uterine fibroid that grows outside the uterus, just beneath the outermost layer known as the serosa. These fibroids form from an unusual growth of smooth muscle cells in the uterine wall.
Subserosal fibroids come in different sizes and may cause symptoms like pelvic pain, pressure, and discomfort. Sometimes, they can create problems with conception or during pregnancy.
Intramural fibroids are fibroids that grow inside the uterine muscle wall. Fibroid specialists can detect them using imaging tests like ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Uterine fibroid treatment options will depend on how severe the symptoms are, the size and place of the fibroids, and whether you want to keep the uterus healthy.
Intramural fibroids are typically sorted into three sub-categories:
- Anterior intramural fibroids
Benign growths are located within the front muscular walls of the uterus. They are usually smooth and circular.
- Posterior intramural fibroids
These fibroids grow in the rear, muscular walls of the uterus. Similar to anterior fibroids, they often appear smooth and round.
- Fundal intramural fibroids
These fibroids are found in the upper part of the uterus muscle, called the fundus. Like anterior and posterior fibroids, fundal fibroids form within the uterine wall and can vary in size and shape.
It's important to know that each type of intramural fibroid has the potential to cause symptoms, but the severity of these symptoms can differ from one individual to another.
Pedunculated fibroids develop on stalks or stems stemming from the uterine wall. These fibroids can be either subserosal or intramural. They might cause symptoms like pelvic pain, pressure, and discomfort. Depending on their size and location, they could also cause challenges for reproduction.
Calcification in fibroids happens when the tissues inside the fibroid go through a process called dystrophic calcification. This process includes the buildup of calcium salts, causing the fibroid tissue to harden. This change makes the fibroid less flexible and might lead to extra symptoms or issues.
The exact reason for calcification in fibroids isn't entirely clear. However, research suggests that conditions like rapid fibroid growth, poor blood supply, and long-term inflammation might contribute to calcified fibroid development. Women with large fibroids, especially those that have degenerated or died, are more likely to experience calcification.
Calcified fibroids can differ in size and position within the uterus. They might be found during routine imaging tests like ultrasound MRI or a pelvic exam. In some situations, calcified fibroids might affect fertility or cause problems during pregnancy.
Minimally Invasive Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
If you've been diagnosed with fibroids, there are effective treatment options available outside of a myomectomy or hysterectomy.
One of the treatments available at Dallas Fibroid Center is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). This non-surgical method effectively manages uterine fibroids, helping to alleviate painful symptoms without lengthy recoveries or hospital stays.
Our skilled interventional radiologists conduct this procedure utilizing advanced imaging technology.
At our fibroid treatment center, we recognize that each patient's fibroid journey is unique. That's why our team will collaborate with you to assess your symptoms, medical background, and personal requirements to create a tailored treatment approach that meets your needs.
We also offer thorough post-treatment care to ensure the best possible long-term results.
Dallas Fibroid Center: A Leading Fibroid Treatment Clinic in Texas
Everyone's experience with fibroids is different. That's why it's crucial to consult a qualified fibroid doctor for a precise diagnosis and the right treatment for your uterine fibroids.
At Dallas Fibroid Center, our fibroid specialists provide effective and innovative treatments to eliminate uterine fibroid symptoms.
Our advanced fibroid clinic offers non-invasive treatments and outpatient solutions designed specifically for your needs.
If you've been diagnosed with uterine fibroids or are dealing with fibroid-related symptoms, reach out to our caring team of experts to schedule an evaluation today.