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Are Fibroids Serious?

Are Fibroids Serious?

Uterine fibroids aren’t fun, although they are usually noncancerous. They often cause troublesome symptoms like heavy bleeding and painful cramping. They can also press on your bladder, causing you to urinate more often.

However, many women have fibroids and don’t even know it because they don’t cause symptoms, and they’re discovered only during an exam. Fibroids can range from as tiny as a watermelon seed to as large as a cantaloupe. How we treat them depends on whether or not they’re causing symptoms and how large they are. Here, Darin L. Weyhrich. MD, explains more about the seriousness of having fibroids.

What causes fibroids

We don’t know exactly what causes fibroids. The truth is that the condition appears to be related to a combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Genetics also seem to play a role, as you’re more likely to have fibroids if your mother or sister did. 

Micronutrients may also factor in; a deficiency of vitamin D, for example, may increase the risk of fibroids. In addition, major stresses are also a contributing factor.

What symptoms fibroids can cause

Fibroids sometimes cause no symptoms at all. However, if your fibroids do produce symptoms, you may experience the following:

If your fibroids are causing symptoms, you should definitely make an appointment to see us.

How we treat uterine fibroids

If you have uterine fibroids, we usually order some additional blood tests. You might have low iron levels (anemia) due to the amount of blood loss from heavy periods. We might also do an ultrasound to see how big the fibroids are.

If you’re not having any symptoms, we may decide to watch and wait. Often, asymptomatic fibroids disappear on their own over time.

If you’re having severe symptoms, we may recommend a hysterectomy. This surgical procedure removes your uterus, after which point you will stop having periods. Most hysterectomies can be done with minimally invasive surgery, which only requires a few small incisions in your abdomen. 

The advantage of having a minimally invasive surgery (also known as a laparoscopic surgery) is that you have a much shorter recovery time and hospital stay. In many cases, you can go home the same day of the surgery.

If you’re still thinking about continuing your family and are not ready for a hysterectomy, we may perform a myomectomy, a surgical procedure to remove only the fibroids. 

In addition, we may prescribe medications that reduce estrogen, including anti-hormonal agents or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. These medications can shrink fibroids and prevent new ones from forming.

If you have uterine fibroids and they’re causing symptoms that disrupt your life, we urge you to make an appointment with Dr. Darin Weyhrich for a complete evaluation and a personalized treatment plan that relieves your symptoms and restores your quality of life. Contact our office today or request an appointment online.

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