You’re experiencing pain in your pelvic region and you want to narrow down the causes. One potential cause of the discomfort is uterine fibroids, which affect 20-80% of women by the time they reach the age of 50.
In most cases, the benign growths don’t cause any symptoms, and many women are unaware of their existence. When uterine fibroids do become problematic, however, pain and discomfort can figure among the symptoms.
Dr. Fernando Otero and the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley want to focus on pelvic pain caused by uterine fibroids in this month’s blog post.
Let’s take a closer look.
As we mentioned, uterine fibroids are very common among women during their reproductive years. The majority of these growths are benign (noncancerous), and they grow along the walls of the, uterus.
We’re not exactly sure what causes uterine fibroids, but we suspect that genetics and hormones play important roles, as well as certain lifestyle factors. Women who have obesity are more likely to have uterine fibroids, for example.
While most uterine fibroids come and go without incident, some women can develop problematic fibroids that lead to symptoms.
If uterine fibroids become large or numerous enough, they can lead to symptoms. For example, some fibroids can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger, which can cause discomfort as well as functional problems, such as incontinence (the growth presses against the bladder).
When we talk about pelvic pain associated with uterine fibroids, this discomfort can present itself in several ways, such as:
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, the best way to find out whether uterine fibroids are to blame is to come see us.
To determine whether you have uterine fibroids, we turn to advanced imaging, such as ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. We can also take a closer look inside your uterus through a hysteroscopy, a noninvasive procedure in which we insert a small camera inside the organ.
If we find a fibroid (or several), we can start you on a treatment plan. Our first line of defense is medications, such as hormonal birth control or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists.
If your fibroids are causing moderate to severe symptoms, including pelvic pain, you may want to opt for a myomectomy, a procedure that removes the problematic fibroids using minimally invasive techniques.
In cases where the fibroids grow back or they’re unresponsive to treatments, a hysterectomy can put an end to the problem, once and for all.
Rest assured, Dr. Otero is an expert in minimally invasive gynecologic procedures and has considerable experience with this type of surgery.
To figure out whether your pelvic pain is associated with uterine fibroids, contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.