Uterine fibroids are a common type of non-cancerous growths that develop in and on the uterus wall. These generally develop in the childbearing years and shrink before the period of menopause. While smaller fibroids do not need treatments, larger ones can be treated with surgery and medications. This article discusses uterine fibroids, their symptoms, and treatment options.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are tumor growth made of muscles and connective tissues from the wall of the uterus. Also known by the name leiomyomas, these can grow in a nodule or in a cluster.
These are not associated with the cancerous growth of the uterus and almost do not develop into cancer. These are quite common and often disappear over time. Generally, these aren’t serious and don’t cause serious symptoms. However, some women with the condition can get the following symptoms:
- Heavy bleeding during menstruation
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Periods lasting for more than seven days
- Pain in legs and back
- Frequent urination
- Chronic vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
While this is a common medical condition and 80% of women are likely to develop them, women with certain conditions are more at risk of developing this condition:
- Obesity or people with more than 20% of their healthy body weight.
- Women who get periods at a young age
- Late age of menopause
- Genetic factors
If you have fibroids, you may or may not require professional treatment. In a survey of New York women, many reported that their they did not cause much pain and were manageable without professional treatment. Well, the treatment also depends on the size and the symptoms, say experts at obgyn nyc. You might need proper treatment if you have serious symptoms, such as excess bleeding, moderate to severe pain, and urinary tract and bowel issues.
Your treatment plan will depend on factors such as the size of your fibroids, their location, the number you have, etc. Here are a few of the treatment options:
- OTC Medications: OTC or over-the-counter medications are used to manage pain and discomfort caused by uterine fibroids. These medications usually include ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
- Birth Control: Birth control is another way you can manage the symptoms of fibroids. It can help control heavy menstrual bleeding. Different birth control options include oral contraceptive pills, intravaginal contraception, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and injections.
- GnRH Agonists: GnRH or Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists are a group of medications that are usually taken via a nasal spray or injection. They help shrink the size of fibroids.
- Myomectomy: It is a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids. The surgeon removes only the symptom causing fibroid and not the entire uterus like in a hysterectomy.
- Hysterectomy: A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually the cervix, to avoid the symptoms caused by larger fibroids, such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pain.
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): This minimally invasive procedure uses heat to shrink the fibroids one by one. This helps relieve the painful symptoms and helps the patient enjoy a better quality of life.
Uterine fibroids can be milder to serious ones that require medical attention. If you think you have any of the severe symptoms, go see a doctor and get yourself checked.