Uterine fibroids are common, benign tumors that typically affect women of reproductive age. For each woman who received a diagnosis for fibroids, her case is different from other women. For example, her symptoms, causes, tumor sizes, location, and number of tumors found in the uterus will vary. Ultimately, most women usually have fibroids and aren’t aware of it. In fact, many ladies won’t know unless a gynecologist points it out during an exam. Another way she may learn about fibroids is if she begins 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. There are no current scientific or medical indications that specific diseases can cause the development of fibroids. However, 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. That’s why it’s best to consult with the physicians of Woodlands OBGYN Associates to discuss which treatment options would be right for you. Some women learn that non-treatment options offer effective alternatives. For instance, they can make simple changes in their diet and increase physical activity. On the other hand, hormone therapy, surgical hysterectomies, or a myomectomy are also great options.
If you suspect you may have uterine fibroids, call 281-364-9898 to schedule an appointment and discuss possible treatment options.