As many as 8 in 10 women develop uterine fibroids before the age of 50. Not all fibroids cause a problem, but those that do can cause severe and even debilitating symptoms. The team of board-certified OB/GYNs at Arizona Women's Care in Scottsdale, Arizona, can diagnose and treat your fibroids using medications, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery. Don’t wait to get solutions for your fibroids. Call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Fibroids are muscle tissue growths in and around your uterus. A single fibroid can be as tiny as a grain of rice or as big as a baseball. Fibroids can grow singly or in groups, and they may fluctuate in size.
The most common type of fibroids, intramural fibroids, occur within the uterine walls. Less commonly, you can develop fibroids inside the uterus (submucosal fibroids) or on the outside of your uterus (subserosal fibroids).
Experts believe that genetics and hormone levels can both play a role in fibroid growth. Fibroids usually develop at age 30-40 but may appear anytime.
When fibroids cause symptoms, you might experience:
Asymptomatic fibroids may never cause symptoms, but your doctor may identify them during a pelvic exam or imaging tests.
There are many approaches to fibroid treatment, including:
For milder fibroid symptoms, anti-inflammatory medication can help with fibroid-related pain. You may need an iron supplement if you're anemic due to blood loss.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist medications stop menstruation and may also reduce the size of fibroids. GnRH agonists have serious side effects in many cases, so you should only take them for six months. Fibroids usually grow back to their former size when you stop taking GnRH agonists.
Hormonal birth control, such as oral contraceptives, injections, and progesterone-containing IUDs, can help to reduce heavy bleeding and other fibroid symptoms. However, your symptoms usually return if you discontinue birth control.
In endometrial ablation, your doctor uses a specialized procedure to remove the uterine lining. NovaSure treatment significantly reduces or even stops menstrual bleeding. Ultimately, this can free you from fibroid symptoms permanently.
NovaSure ablation takes less than five minutes in the Arizona Women's Care office, and it's a pain-free procedure because a board-certified anesthesiologist administers intravenous (IV) sedation before your treatment.
It's not safe to ever carry a baby after NovaSure, so you must plan for birth control before having this procedure.
Hysteroscopy is an in-office procedure at Arizona Women's Care that destroys fibroids using electricity or a laser. This procedure can significantly reduce heavy bleeding. Your doctor performs hysteroscopy while you're under light IV sedation.
If conservative care doesn't relieve your uterine fibroid issues or NovaSure isn't a good option for you, surgery to remove fibroids may help. A myomectomy removes only the fibroid and leaves your fertility intact.
The best option for the most severe fibroids may ultimately be hysterectomy, which involves complete uterus removal.
Fibroid symptoms are very treatable, so don’t delay in seeking help. Call Arizona Women’s Care or schedule an appointment online.