At times it may feel as though as you are alone in battling discomfort from uterine fibroids, but fibroids are more common than you may think. About 50 to 80 percent of women develop uterine fibroids but not all women go to the doctor looking to treat or remove their fibroids.
In many cases, women with fibroids don’t seek treatment because they may not have any life-changing symptoms, but 10 to 20 percent of women with uterine fibroids endure symptoms that diminish their quality of life. If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids or think you may have fibroids, how do you know when it is time to seek treatment?
Know When to Treat Fibroids
Track your symptoms.
If you’re experiencing fibroid-related symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure that won’t go away, and the urge to use the bathroom more often than usual, it may be time to speak with your doctor about different treatments available for fibroids.
Find out the location and size.
Fibroids can grow in various places, such as inside the uterine wall or on the outside of the uterus. Fibroids that place pressure on your bladder can cause frequent urination and very large fibroids can make your stomach swell. In addition to causing bothersome symptoms, the size and location of your fibroids can also determine the right treatment option for you.
Your gynecologist can determine if you have fibroids through an ultrasound. If you are diagnosed with fibroids, getting an MRI is the best way to reveal the size, location and number of fibroids you may have. From there, you and your doctor can establish a treatment plan based on your personal and medical needs.
Consider your age.
Fibroids feed off hormones that the ovaries release, namely estrogen and progesterone so your fibroids can continue to grow until you go through menopause. If you are a young woman in your 30s and already have large fibroids, you may want to take care of them before they get bigger and more difficult to treat.
If you are in your 40s or 50s and can tolerate your symptoms, one option is to wait and see if they shrink after menopause. However, if you have anemia due to extreme bleeding or symptoms that interfere with your daily life, it may be time to think about finding treatment for your fibroids.
Take family planning into account.
A 2010 study suggested that between 10-30% of women with fibroids develop complications during pregnancy. If getting pregnant is a top priority for you and your family, you may elect to have a myomectomy which will surgically remove the fibroids but preserve your uterus and fertility. A myomectomy does not mean new fibroids won’t grow in the future.
If you’re done having kids, you could be a candidate for a minimally-invasive procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), which works by blocking blood supply to the fibroids that rely on blood for nutrients to help them grow. The benefits of UFE include a quick 7 to 10 day recovery, no surgical incision or scar and a 90% success rate for resolving fibroid symptoms. UFE is not usually performed in women who want to get pregnant because it carries an increased risk of miscarriage.
UFE Can Help
You may have been dealing with painful fibroid symptoms for a long time, but that doesn’t mean you have to endure them forever. If you’re considering treatment options that don’t involve surgery to take care of fibroids, Fibroid Institute Dallas can help. Dr. Suzanne Slonim uses Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) to treat fibroids of any size. The procedure is done in the office, doesn’t require removing your uterus, and involves less risk and pain than a hysterectomy.
Call us at 214-838-6440 to schedule a free phone consultation to learn more about UFE and if it’s the right treatment option for you. To make an appointment online, please visit our appointment scheduler.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or using any new products for a medical condition, first seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider.