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3 Things We Want You to Know About Uterine Fibroids

3 Things We Want You to Know About Uterine Fibroids

We want to start with one significant fact about uterine fibroids — they're very common. Up to 80% of women may develop fibroids at some point during their childbearing years, which usually means between the ages of 15 and 44.

Now that we’ve gotten one of the more salient points about this gynecologic condition covered, Dr. Fernando Otero and the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley want to dive into some more details about uterine fibroids. 

To do this, we’ve divided the subject into three things that we want you to know about uterine fibroids.

1. Fibroids are mostly harmless

We’ve established that uterine fibroids are common, and a good follow-up point is that they’re mostly benign, which means noncancerous. Fibroids are growths that develop inside your uterus, and they’re mostly made up of muscle tissues. They can grow singularly or in groups, and they range in size from a kernel of rice to a softball or grapefruit.

So, even though fibroids are, technically, tumors, they’re not a dangerous kind.

2. Experts don’t know what causes uterine fibroids

For a condition that’s so common, it might come as a surprise to learn that we don’t know the exact cause of uterine fibroids. Researchers have figured that fibroids are most common among women in their 30s and 40s, and they appear to respond to hormones, chiefly estrogen.

For example, fibroids can grow in size during pregnancy, when your hormones are at higher levels. Conversely, most fibroids shrink after you pass through menopause, which is when you stop producing estrogen.

We’ve also found a few risk factors for uterine fibroids, which include:

So, while we might not have the direct cause-and-effect of fibroids, we do have a fairly clear understanding about why they develop.

3. We can treat problematic fibroids

Most fibroids don’t lead to symptoms. When they do, it’s largely due to their size, number, or location. 

Problematic fibroids can cause side effects that include:

If you have symptomatic fibroids, we can use hormone medications to try to shrink the growths. There are times when hormonal medications aren’t a viable treatment option, such as when you want to get pregnant. At this point, we can perform minimally invasive surgery to remove the troublesome fibroid(s).

If you have more questions about uterine fibroids or you suspect that you have one that’s giving you trouble, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.

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