Many women develop fibroids in their uterus before they reach the age of 50. These benign, muscular growths usually cause no symptoms, but some can result in pain and complications. At The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group located in Park Slope, Bay Ridge, and Staten Island, New York, the team of expert OB/GYNs can evaluate fibroids and treat them, if necessary. If you have fibroid symptoms, call one of the offices or book an appointment online.
Fibroids are growths that emerge on the wall of your uterus. They can range in size from microscopic to the size of a grapefruit. Fibroids are almost always not cancerous, and often don’t cause any symptoms.
Fibroids usually emerge in your 30s and 40s and start to shrink with menopause. If you have a family history of fibroids, you’re overweight, or you eat a lot of red meat, you may be at a higher risk of developing fibroids.
If you have no symptoms, you may not ever know you have uterine fibroids. Women who do have symptoms may experience the following:
If you have any of these symptoms, consult the providers at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group for evaluation.
If you have fibroids, but no symptoms, the doctors may take a wait-and-watch approach. You may undergo periodic ultrasounds to make sure the fibroids aren’t growing.
For some women, medications such as over-the-counter pain medications can help you manage mild pain associated with fibroids. If heavy bleeding causes you to become anemic, you may also need to take an iron supplement.
If you aren’t planning to have children, low-dose birth control pills can help control heavy bleeding and slow fibroid growth. Progesterone injections and some IUDs can also help. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists may be used to shrink your fibroids and relieve heavy bleeding. These drugs put you into a temporary menopause, so you may experience symptoms such as hot flashes and diminished libido.
In severe cases of fibroids, surgery may be recommended. A hysterectomy to remove the uterus or endometrial ablation that destroys the lining of the uterus halt the growth of fibroids, but also make it so that you can never become pregnant.
The doctors at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group can also perform a minimally invasive surgery known as a myomectomy. The fibroids are extracted without causing damage to your reproductive organs, so you can have children in the future.
What treatment is best for you depends on your family goals, the location, and size of the fibroid, and your age.
If you have concerns about uterine fibroids, call The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group or book an appointment using the online tool.