How Do I Know if I Have Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus and are more common than one would think. Between 50 and 80 percent of women will get fibroids in their lifetime. Uterine fibroids can rob you of the life you used to lead. The big question is, how do you know if you could have fibroids?
Do You Have Any of the Following?
- Heavy bleeding during menstrual periods
- Passing clots during menstrual periods
- Fluctuation in the duration and length of your period
- Tightness or pressure in your pelvic area
- Frequent urination day and night
- Lower back pain
- Pain and discomfort during sex
- Abdominal bloating
If you answered YES to one or more of the symptoms above, talk with your gynecologist or primary care provider to learn more about fibroids and the best treatment option for your condition.
Fibroids, also known as uterine fibroids, are non-cancerous tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are the most common tumors of the female reproductive system. All women are potentially at risk of developing them.
African-American women are three times more likely to suffer from fibroids than white, Hispanic or Asian women. Fibroids can occur in women at a very young age, but the majority of women diagnosed with uterine fibroids are between 35 and 54 years of age. Fibroid tumors shrink during menopause.
If you suspect you have uterine fibroids, you should see a gynecologist or your primary care physician for a diagnosis. The type, or types, of uterine fibroids and symptoms you have will determine the most effective treatment option for you.
As an academic practice that treats the worst of the worst fibroid conditions, SLUCare gynecologists offer several treatment options and resources. In addition, our gynecologists work with other medical disciplines, like interventional radiologists who use minimally invasive techniques with faster recovery times to remove the benign growths.
The Uterine Fibroid Clinic is made up of SLUCare specialists dedicated to diagnosing and treating fibroid patients. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 314-977-7455.
What type of treatment you have depends on:
- Your age
- Your general health
- Your symptoms
- Type of fibroids
- If you are pregnant
- If you want children in the future
Treatment may include:
- Tranexamic acid to reduce the amount of blood flow.
- Iron supplements to prevent or treat anemia due to heavy periods.
- Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, for cramps or pain.
- Hormone therapy shots to help shrink fibroids (done only for a short time).
- Watchful waiting. You may have pelvic exams or ultrasounds every once in a while to check the fibroid's growth.
- Hysteroscopy — a procedure to remove fibroids growing inside the uterus.
- Uterine artery embolization — also known as uterine fibroid embolization, this is a procedure that stops the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink and die. This may be a good option if you wish to avoid surgery and are not planning to become pregnant.
- Myomectomy — surgery that removes fibroids from the uterus. This may be a good choice if you want to have children. It will not prevent new fibroids from growing.
- Hysterectomy — surgery that removes the uterus completely. It may be an option if you do not want children, medicines do not work, and you cannot have any other procedures.
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