If you have abnormally heavy periods, pelvic pain, and a feeling of fullness in your pelvis, uterine fibroids could be the root cause of your symptoms. The experienced OB/GYNs at Signature Women’s Healthcare in Lithonia and Lawrenceville, Georgia, diagnose and treat uterine fibroids with medication and state-of-the-art surgical procedures. Call Signature Women’s Healthcare or schedule a consultation online today.
Uterine fibroids are benign growths that develop in or on your uterine walls. Uterine fibroids range in size from microscopically small to as large as grapefruits.
Medical researchers believe that your genes and hormones contribute to fibroid development as fibroids grow during pregnancy and during times of hormonal change. Fibroids also usually shrink and disappear when you reach menopause.
Uterine fibroids are very common, affecting 20-80% of women of reproductive age. The vast range is because many women never experience symptoms or receive a diagnosis and treatment for fibroids. However, some women experience painful and disruptive symptoms.
Some of the common symptoms of fibroids include:
Fibroids can also cause pregnancy complications and increase your chances of needing a cesarean-section delivery. In rare cases, uterine fibroids can cause fertility problems.
The doctors at Signature Women’s Healthcare diagnose fibroids with a physical exam, blood tests, and diagnostic imaging studies. Your doctor performs a pelvic exam to feel your uterus and other reproductive organs for signs of abnormality. They take blood samples to check your hormone levels.
Your doctor could also use diagnostic imaging tests like an ultrasound to examine your uterus for signs of fibroids and other growths. They might also use hysteroscopy to explore the inside of your uterus and take a biopsy if they find abnormal growths.
Your doctor creates a customized treatment plan to address your needs. For example, if you have very small fibroids that aren’t interfering with your health or fertility, your OB/GYN will usually recommend monitoring your fibroids and symptoms.
But if your fibroids are interfering with your wellness, your doctor can prescribe medicine to soothe your symptoms or shrink your fibroids.
In severe cases, your doctor could recommend a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove your fibroids. For example, they may suggest a myomectomy to remove your fibroids. Other surgical treatments for uterine fibroids include:
Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to damage your endometrial lining, including the fibroids that grow on the inside walls of your uterus.
Uterine fibroid embolization is another minimally invasive procedure. Your doctor injects a chemical that blocks the blood vessels feeding your fibroids, which causes them to shrivel and die.
During myolysis, your doctor uses a laser, liquid nitrogen, or electricity to destroy your fibroids during a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.
In very severe cases, you’ll probably need a hysterectomy to effectively get rid of your fibroids and restore your health.
If you’re concerned about fibroids, call Signature Women’s Healthcare or make an appointment online today.