If your periods are lasting longer than usual or you’ve noticed a heavier blood flow recently, fibroids might be the cause. Dr. Bhanot will be able to evaluate your symptom and evaluate if fibroids are the cause of your symptoms and offer you a plan for symptom relief. Dr. Bhanot believes in offering you a range of options for treatment of your symptoms that include a holistic natural approach to treatment as well as traditional western medications, procedures and surgery if necessary. Call today to make an appointment to consult on your symptoms and start your journey for relief your symptoms.
What are fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are abnormal and generally benign, non-cancerous, growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. They are most common during a woman’s reproductive years. Rarely (1 in 1000) fibroids can have a cancerous component with in them called a leioyomyosarcoma.
Uterine fibroids are made from smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They can be very small and undetectable by the human eye, but they can grow large enough to distort the shape and size of your uterus. You may have just one or many fibroids of varying sizes.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
Many women have uterine fibroids without developing any symptoms. Depending on their size and location, however, fibroids can cause:
• Heavy menstrual bleeding and/or periods that last more than a week
• Increased, sometimes heavy spotting between periods
• Pain or sensation of pressure in the pelvic region
• Frequent urination and difficulty emptying the urinary bladder
• Aching in the lower back and leg pain
Fibroids develop during your childbearing years and often become symptomatic at about age 30.
Where on the uterus do fibroids develop?
Fibroids can involve any aspect of the uterus. Intramural fibroids grow within the muscular uterine wall. Submucosal fibroids bulge into the uterine cavity. Subserosal fibroids project outward from the uterine wall. Depending on their size and location, fibroids can interfere with your ability to conceive a child or make it difficult to progress through a full-term pregnancy.
What are the risk factors for fibroids?
Risk factors for fibroids as described by the US Department of Health and Human Services are as follows:
Several factors may affect a woman’s risk for having uterine fibroids, including the following:
• Age (older women are at higher risk than younger women)
• African American race
• Family history of uterine fibroids
• High blood pressure
• No history of pregnancy
• Vitamin D deficiency
• Food additive consumption
• Use of soybean milk
Factors that may lower the risk of fibroids:
• Pregnancy (the risk decreases with an increasing number of pregnancies)
• Long-term use of oral or injectable contraceptives
What is the treatment for fibroids?
Dr. Bhanot will begin with a pelvic exam to feel for the presence of fibroids. She may then use an ultrasound and/or other diagnostic studies to define the size and location of your fibroids accurately.
If your fibroids aren’t causing symptoms or problems, it’s safe to monitor their growth over time. Fibroids often shrink, and symptoms resolve once you enter menopause.
Treatments for symptomatic fibroids may include medication (oral contraceptives) to reduce menstrual bleeding during periods. A gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist is a type of medication that can introduce a menopause-like state and shrink fibroids.
There are also minimally invasive surgical procedures available like laparoscopic myomectomy that remove fibroid tissue while sparing the uterus and other procedures to decrease the symptoms of fibroids. Your provider discusses all aspects of potential treatment in detail before you select the best option for you and your circumstances.
Schedule a visit with Dr. Bhanot today for an evaluation regarding uterine fibroids or any other gynecological issue.