You can have uterine fibroids and not be aware of their presence. Sometimes they don’t cause symptoms; other times you ignore symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding. The team at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples are experts at finding, diagnosing, and treating uterine fibroids. Please don’t hesitate to call their offices in Naples, Florida, or schedule an appointment online if you have any concerns about your health.
Fibroids are growths that develop in the uterus. Most fibroids grow in the uterine wall, but they may also grow inside or outside the uterus.
They consist of muscular tissue and can range in size from a growth so small it’s barely visible to large masses that distort the shape of the uterus. You may have one fibroid or many fibroid growths that enlarge your uterus.
Uterine fibroids don’t increase your risk of uterine cancer, and the fibroids almost never develop into cancer. While no one knows what causes fibroids, the experts believe hormones and genetics have an influence.
Many women don’t have any symptoms, and their fibroids are discovered during a routine well-woman exam. If you have symptoms, you may experience:
Uterine fibroids increase your risk for complications during pregnancy and labor. Women with fibroids have a six-times higher risk of needing a cesarean section. In spite of that statistic, it’s important to remember that most women with fibroids have a normal pregnancy and delivery.
The type of treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Women who have mild pain may only need an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you have heavy bleeding, you may need to take iron supplements to prevent anemia.
You may be able to control heavy bleeding due to fibroids with low-dose birth control pills or an IUD that contains hormones that help reduce bleeding. Some medications may shrink the size of your fibroids; however, they can also cause side effects, so your doctor at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples will talk with you about the risks and benefits.
Surgery is an option for some women, depending on the size and location of the fibroids. Examples of surgical options include: