Highland residents discover symptoms and treatments for uterine fibroids
Also called fibroid tumors, leiomyomas, or myomas, uterine fibroids are lumps that grow on a woman’s uterus. They are benign and may appear on the inside, outside, or on the uterine wall. Highland and Norther Indiana residents turn to Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S. C. for treatment options.
Fibroids often occur in women in their 30s or 40s. Although the exact cause is unknown, the hormones estrogen and progesterone help fibroids grow. The highest levels of these hormones are made during the years of menstruation. Once women reach menopause and the hormone levels are lower, fibroids seem to shrink.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids
Symptoms of fibroids may include:
- Heavy periods
- Abdominal cramping
- A feeling of abdominal fullness
- Low back pain
- Pain during sex
- A constant urge to urinate
Fibroids are generally diagnosed through a discussion of the patient’s symptoms and a pelvic exam. An ultrasound may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis. The ultrasound enables your doctor to see the fibroids, know how large they are, and determine the exact location.
For patients who are not experiencing severe symptoms or health problems, your physician may hold off on treatment. The fibroids are closely monitored to watch for changes. Patients with mild discomfort may benefit from over-the-counter pain medication. Other patients may turn to birth control pills to ease discomfort and make periods lighter.
Traditional treatments include a myomectomy to remove the fibroids or hysterectomy to remove the uterus. Hysteroscopy involves the use of a long, thin, lighted instrument inserted into the vagina to diagnose and treat problems of the cervix and uterus. A hysteroscopic myomectomy removes the fibroids without damaging the integrity of the uterus. Open and minimally invasive removal of fibroids and hysterectomy with laparoscopy and robotic techniques can be available.
If you are experiencing abdominal pain or need women’s health care, contact Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. (312) 440-9400.