Uterine fibroids are common, benign tumors that typically affect women of reproductive age. For each woman diagnosed with fibroids, symptoms, causes, tumor sizes, location, and number of tumors found in the uterus, vary in every case. Ultimately, most women usually have fibroids and aren’t aware of it, unless it’s pointed out during an exam, or if they begin experiencing changes in monthly periods.
In severe cases, fibroids can cause frequent urination, painful intercourse, fertility issues, abdominal pain, and heavy periods. Gynecological medicine has been able to verify a few common causes for fibroids, so if you’ve noticed significant changes in your menstrual cycles and overall reproductive health, you could have uterine fibroids. The doctors of Woodlands OBGYN Associates have provided information below to help address this concern.
Known Causes & Risk Factors
Uterine fibroids are quite common, with almost half of all women having fibroids by age 50. Though there are no current scientific or medical indications that specific diseases can cause the development of fibroids, there are a few common contributing factors, including:
- Hormones. Progesterone and estrogen may encourage fibroid growth; both are prevalent during peak childbearing years.
- Heredity. Fibroid tumors may run in families where some are genetically predisposed to developing them.
- Pre- and Perimenopause years.
- Never having children
- Early menstruation (before age 10)
The diagnosis is typically easy, as a routine pelvic exam is usually sufficient. Yet, some patients may need additional testing to exclude other, more serious conditions, as well as to determine the size, number, and locations of fibroids. Such tests can include pelvic ultrasounds, MRI’s, hysteroscopies, and laparoscopies; all of which can be used to assess fibroids inside and outside the uterus. These tests and procedures help doctors determine how and which treatment options may be effective for each woman.
Fibroids are highly treatable. However, there’s no one best treatment for all types. It is best to consult with the physicians of Woodlands OBGYN Associates to discuss which treatment options would be right for you. Options can include non-treatment, simple changes in diet and increased physical activity, hormone therapy, and surgical options for hysterectomies, or a myomectomy.
If you suspect you may have fibroids, call 281-364-9898 to schedule an appointment and discuss possible treatment options.