According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), between 20 and 80 percent of women develop fibroids by age 50. These fibroids tend to shrink after menopause and may or may not present symptoms. If they become uncomfortable or interfere with your quality of life, you can trust the best board certified obstetrics & gynecology in Napa to find an effective treatment.
It is still unclear why fibroids develop. Some women might never even know they have them. With that being said, nonetheless, it is crucial to know the treatment options available should they become a problem.
What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids, otherwise called uterine fibroids, are non-cancerous lumps of fibrous tissue and muscle that often appear during a woman’s childbearing years. They tend to range in size from seedlings to bulky growths. While the former can escape the human eye, the latter could be large enough to distort the uterus, add weight, or reach the ribcage.
Typically, you can develop a single, or multiple fibroids. They usually don’t present symptoms and may go unnoticed. Many fibroids are discovered incidentally during an ultrasound or pelvic exam.
There are three types of fibroids, classified by their location. They are:
- Intramural fibroids – These grow within the muscular uterine wall.
- Submucosal fibroids – Grow and bulge into the uterine cavity.
- Subserosal fibroids – These fibroids project to the outside of the uterus.
Symptoms of Fibroids
As already mentioned, fibroids don’t usually present any symptoms. This might vary, however, depending on their size, location, and number. If you manifest symptoms, you might notice the following:
- Menstrual periods that extend beyond one week
- Severe menstrual cramping
- Frequent urination or pain while voiding the bladder.
- Pelvic pain
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Back or leg pain
How Are Fibroids Treated?
As most fibroids don’t cause symptoms, they often don’t require treatment and may shrink or disappear after menopause. That said, nonetheless, some fibroids can cause uncomfortable symptoms. These might necessitate medical treatment.
Usually, your OB-GYN will prescribe a treatment plan depending on the location of the fibroids and the severity of the symptoms. Common treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Hormonal birth control
- Surgical options, such as hysterectomy, myomectomy, endometrial ablation, uterine fibroid embolization
John H. Kirk, MD, provides a wide range of non-invasive treatment options. If these are ineffective, he and his team offer a minimally-invasive robotic surgery option, which removes fibroids through keyhole incisions.
Making a few changes can significantly improve your fibroid symptoms. You could reduce your pain and discomfort by maintaining a moderate weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Besides being affordable, these options are also non-invasive.
Seek Professional Advice Today
Most fibroids don’t cause symptoms and shrink after menopause. In fact, most women will never know that they had fibroids at some point in their lives. But if you do, and your symptoms are severe, you can explore the various medical treatment options available.
Uterine fibroids can also interfere with your fertility. John H. Kirk, MD, and his team in Napa, St. Helena, and Hidden Valley Lake, California are skilled at diagnosing and treating disruptive fibroids. If you are concerned about your health, contact them today to schedule a consultation.