First point is always that a blog is just a way to get some basic information. It does not replace seeing a healthcare professional for a full discussion about your issues.
Fibroids are smooth muscle tumors, and are commonly found in the uterus (but can be seen all over the body). They are benign (but rarely there can be malignant entities that can look like fibroids from an imaging point of view). Depending on how you look for them they are present in 30-40 up to ~75% of women!
Because they are tumors, they grow! They can grow slowly, they can grow quickly, and they can cause many problems. Depending on where they are in the uterus they can cause bleeding, pain, bloating, pressure, urinary problems, bowel problems, and may cause or be related to miscarriages or obstetric issues.
A full evaluation of your health history and a comprehensive physical evaluation would be prudent. Once done, a more complete plan for your fibroids can be developed. This might include no treatment, medical treatments, surgical treatments, or procedures such as uterine artery embolization.
The specific treatment can be tailored to your situation, taking into consideration your fibroids, your symptoms, your medical history, your age, your fertility desires and expectations, and all of your questions. All of this should be reviewed with your healthcare provider, but may require the services of a specialist in women’s health.
It is important to note that for the woman who still wants to have children this fact will strongly influence the decision making surrounding treating fibroids. Similarly, a woman who are beyond childbearing may be able to consider different options for her fibroids.
Treating fibroids surgically can involve many approaches including hysteroscopy (a telescope view into the uterus through the vagina), minimally invasive approaches (laparoscopy or robotic, which are telescopic views through the abdominal wall into the pelvis), or larger abdominal incisions (called laparotomies). Your specialist can discuss these options with you and whether they apply to your situations.
It is very important to realize that fibroids are often a recurrent problem and may require ongoing management when the uterus is not removed.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. If you have medical concerns, consult a physician or other healthcare professional.
Brian Clark, MD, graduated from University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT in 1994. He continued his training with an internship at University of Vermont College of Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a residency at University of Vermont College of Medicine, in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility. Dr. Clark is board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility. To make an appointment with Dr. Clark visit his profile.