Uterine fibroids are benign growths that appear in the uterus, ranging from microscopic to several times larger than the uterus itself. Genetic changes in the cells, hormone fluctuations, and growth factors seem to influence fibroid development.
Some fibroids cause noticeable symptoms such as:
Uterine fibroids are typically not dangerous, but they may cause disruptive side effects. The discomfort and heavy bleeding associated with uterine fibroids may hinder you from enjoying your favorite activities. The heavy bleeding also puts you at risk for anemia.
Fibroids generally don’t affect fertility or pregnancy unless they’re enlarged or in an unusual position. Some fibroids may put you at a higher risk for placental abruption or preterm delivery.
The diagnostic process for uterine fibroids involves gathering information about your medical history and a pelvic exam. Most uterine fibroids are discovered incidentally during routine pelvic exams.
To make an accurate diagnosis and measure your uterine fibroids, your physician may order an ultrasound or MRI. He or she may also take a complete blood count to test for anemia.
Uterine fibroids usually don’t require any intervention, so your doctor may take a wait-and-see approach if the side effects don’t bother you. Otherwise, your doctor can help reduce symptoms with medication or remove the fibroids with non-invasive procedures or surgery.
To learn more about fibroid treatment options, contact Louisiana Women’s Healthcare over the phone or using the online scheduling system.