Search

Contact Us

Women's Health Blog

Understanding Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms and Treatments

Understanding Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids – a condition that mystifies many, yet is surprisingly common. Known medically as leiomyomas, these benign growths can develop in the uterus, often during the childbearing years. According to the Mayo Clinic, as many as three out of four women will have uterine fibroids at some point in their lives. Despite their frequency, awareness around this condition remains low. As a leading Women’s Health Group, we believe it is our duty to shed light on conditions that affect women’s health, such as fibroids.

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that form in the muscle tissues of the uterus. These can range largely in sizes – from tiny, unnoticeable growths to bulky masses that can distort and enlarge the uterus. While single fibroids can develop, a woman might have multiple fibroids in her uterus.

Fibroids can affect women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, however, African American women are more likely to develop fibroids and at an earlier age. Additionally, these women often have fibroids that grow faster and are larger and more numerous in number.

Fibroid Symptoms

What tends to complicate the understanding of fibroids is that often, women don’t experience any symptoms. Their existence is typically detected during a pelvic examination. If symptoms do surface, they may vary based on the size, location, and number of fibroids.

Key symptoms may include:

– Heavy menstrual bleeding

– Menstrual periods lasting longer than a week

– A feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen

– Difficulty emptying the bladder

– Constipation

– Backache or leg pains

In rare cases, fibroids can also bring about complications in pregnancy and labor, lead to recurrent miscarriages, or cause infertility.

Diagnosis of Uterine Fibroids

Diagnosing fibroids includes the initial pelvic examination, followed by various imaging tests such as an Ultrasound, MRI, or Hysterosonography. In certain cases, other procedures like a Hysterosalpingography or a Hysteroscopy might be required.

It’s essential to keep up with regular pelvic exams so uterine fibroids can be detected and treated in a timely manner. These fibroids, once identified, can be observed and kept under check with regular follow-ups.

Treatment Options

The treatment for uterine fibroids largely depends on your symptoms. In case fibroids do not affect your daily life, your doctor might adopt an approach of ‘watchful waiting’ – they’ll keep regular check-ins, but won’t treat unless conditions change.

For women experiencing symptoms, treatment can range from medications to surgery. Medication can help manage symptoms such as heavy menstrual blood flow or pelvic pressure. They won’t eliminate fibroids, but they may help reduce them.

Surgical procedures, on the other hand, vary in invasiveness. For example, Hysteroscopy, Endometrial Ablation, and Uterine Artery Embolization are less invasive procedures for fibroid removal. In contrast, more extensive surgeries include a Myomectomy or a Hysterectomy.

Decisions on treatment should be made jointly by you and your health care professional after considering things like your desire to have children in the future, your age, the size of the fibroids, and the overall impact of the symptoms on your life.

Fibroid Awareness: The Path Forward

At Women’s Health Group, we are committed to fostering fibroid awareness and ensuring women have access to the correct information to make informed decisions about their health. We believe the path forward includes increased education on fibroids – their diagnosis, symptoms, and treatments.

Women should feel equipped and confident to discuss these topics with their health care professionals. Encouraging dialogue will not only help in the effective management of fibroids but will also assist in breaking societal stigmas associated with these conditions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, uterine fibroids are common yet under-acknowledged health conditions that may affect a woman’s quality of life. Increased awareness, timely diagnosis, and appropriate treatment options are pivotal to managing this condition. As we continue to advocate for improved women’s health, understanding uterine fibroids is a priority. Let us continue to push the boundaries of awareness and invite discussions about women’s health for the collective betterment of our society.

Table of Contents

Understanding Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms and Treatments

Share on Social