Uterine fibroids are benign growths on the uterus that typically appear during a woman’s childbearing years. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous and not dangerous. Most women will develop fibroids at some point in their life, and the majority won’t even know they have fibroids.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes fibroids, but estrogen and progesterone seem to be contributing factors in their growth. Certain hereditary, environmental, and race influence your risk. Doctors believe fibroids develop when a stem cell in the uterine tissue divides until it forms a mass.
The symptoms of uterine fibroids are similar to several other gynecologic conditions, but many women don’t even know they have them because they’re asymptomatic. That’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date with your routine exams and schedule an evaluation with Dr. Salom or Dr. Tangir if you suspect a problem.
Typical symptoms include:
If the fibroids aren’t causing trouble, they don’t require treatment. Dr. Salom or Dr. Tangir will monitor the size and characteristics of the fibroids at your regular visits. However, you can treat the symptoms or the fibroids directly in various ways:
If your only symptom is tolerable pain, your doctor may suggest pain medicine such as ibuprofen to minimize discomfort.
Birth control pills help stabilize estrogen and progesterone levels in your body, which may lighten your period, control fibroid growth, and reduce your symptoms.
If heavy bleeding has caused anemia in your body, Dr. Salom or Dr. Tangir may suggest iron pills.
This nonsurgical treatment shrinks fibroids by decreasing blood flow to them, but it can interfere with childbearing.
During this surgery, Dr. Salom or Dr. Tangir will remove the fibroids, but the growths may return.
You can get rid of fibroids permanently by having your uterus removed. This option is best suited for women with severe fibroids who are sure they don’t want any more children.
If you suspect you have fibroids, call the Center for the next available appointment.