Uterine fibroids may sound serious, but the reality is that up to 75% of women develop these noncancerous growths in their uteruses during their reproductive years. In fact, many women are unaware they even have fibroids. For the unfortunate few, however, uterine fibroids can become problematic.
To help you determine whether your fibroids may require treatment, Dr. Fernando Otero and the team of women’s health experts here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley pulled together the following information on uterine fibroids. We also focus on how our advanced treatments can help eliminate your fibroids and their symptoms.
As we’ve already pointed out, most uterine fibroids don’t present any cause for concern. The majority of women who develop fibroids do so during their reproductive years (typically between the ages of 15 and 44) and the growths are small enough that they don’t create any symptoms.
Since most fibroids are asymptomatic and benign, women with fibroids are often unaware of their existence. Better still, once you pass through menopause and your reproductive hormone levels drop off, existing fibroids typically shrink.
For those women who develop fibroids that are too large, too numerous, or both, complications can develop. As well, a small fibroid that’s in a problematic location inside your uterus can also lead to issues.
There are a variety of symptoms that come with problematic fibroids, including:
These symptoms are most often associated with larger fibroids, which can grow up to the size of a grapefruit, or larger.
While fibroids rarely affect your fertility, they can lead to pregnancy and delivery complications — women with problematic fibroids have a six-times greater risk for requiring a Cesarean section.
We want to note here that fibroids are rarely cancerous (only one in 1,000) and these cancerous growths are unrelated to existing fibroids.
If you’ve developed complications due to fibroids, there are several ways we can treat the problem, depending on the size and location of your fibroids.
As a frontline treatment, we can turn to hormonal medications that prevent your fibroids from growing larger, and may even shrink them, as well as prevent new growths from developing. We can also prescribe gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, which can shrink existing fibroids.
If your symptoms are only minor, you can also wait it out until after menopause, at which point your fibroids should shrink.
If, however, your symptoms are moderate to severe, you may want to consider having us surgically remove the fibroids. Dr. Otero is an expert in minimally invasive gynecologic procedures, and he has ample experience in removing problematic fibroids. Using laparoscopic techniques and robotic assistance, Dr. Otero removes your fibroids with minimal tissue disturbance.
If you suspect you have problematic fibroids, your first step is to make an appointment at one of our two offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, so we can properly diagnose your medical issue. From there, we can get you on the road to better health. To get started, simply click here.