When it comes to fibroids, fibrous tumors that develop in or on the uterus, there’s mixed news. The good news: They’re almost always benign (noncancerous) growths, and they may not cause symptoms at all. The bad news: For some women, they can cause a feeling of heaviness and bloating along with painful periods.
If those symptoms sound familiar, don’t wait to visit our team at Vascular & Interventional Associates in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. We have extensive experience treating fibroids in women throughout northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, with a minimally invasive treatment that we pioneered.
Here’s what you should know about fibroids.
Fibroids are common
In women of childbearing age, fibroids are the most common type of benign tumor. In fact, experts estimate that somewhere between 20%-80% of women develop a fibroid by the time they turn 50.
You can blame that huge range on the fact that fibroids often don’t cause any symptoms, and therefore many women don’t even know they have them.
Fibroids could be to blame for your pelvic pain
When fibroids do cause symptoms, though, they’re uncomfortable at best. They can cause:
- Painful periods
- Heavy bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
- Persistent urination
- Low back pain
- Persistent bloating
- Heaviness in your lower abdomen
- Painful sex
Any of these reasons is worth making an appointment with your doctor. If you’ve been feeling discomfort or worse in your pelvic region, it could be a uterine fibroid.
Fibroids aren’t all the same
Fibroids aren’t consistent. They can be as small as a pea or as large as a grapefruit. You might develop a fibroid on the interior wall of your uterus, on its outer surface, or elsewhere. In some cases, fibroids might even attach to your uterus with a structure like a stem.
They don’t grow consistently, either. You might have a tiny fibroid for years that suddenly enlarges, for example.
Fibroids can affect pregnancy and even fertility
In rare cases, fibroids can prevent you from getting pregnant. More commonly, though, fibroids cause challenges during childbirth. In fact, women with fibroids are six times more likely to need a cesarean section.
Fortunately, because fibroids are so common, obstetricians are well-versed in addressing them during pregnancy. You shouldn’t need to seek out specialized care if you get pregnant with fibroids.
You have treatment options for fibroids
Fibroids that don’t cause problems don’t require treatment. But if you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms and your doctor recommends removing the fibroid, there are a few different approaches.
It’s good to know that a hysterectomy isn’t your only option for getting rid of uterine fibroids. Our team at Vascular & Interventional Associates helped pioneer the use of an alternative: uterine fibroid embolization. This minimally invasive option cuts off blood supply to the fibroid, shrinking it and helping you avoid invasive surgery and ensuring that you keep your uterus.
You can trust our experts to provide a safe, effective treatment for fibroids. If you want to learn more about uterine fibroid embolization, don’t hesitate to call our office or request an appointment online today.