Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop within a woman’s uterus. They are fairly common, especially among women in their 30s and 40s. Uterine fibroids are not cancer, but having them could lead to serious complications and frustrating symptoms, including pain, heavy periods, or infertility. However, treatment can help.
If you have fibroids, you’re probably wondering what might have caused them and what you can do about them. Your care providers at Virtuosa GYN are experts at diagnosing and treating uterine fibroids. Read on to learn more about fibroids and what you can do about them.
Also known as myomas, fibroids can develop anywhere within the uterus, or even on its outer surface. You may have a single fibroid or many. Fibroids may be any size, ranging from as tiny as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit.
Although we don’t know exactly what causes uterine fibroids to form, we do know that the chances of developing them goes up if you have any of the following risk factors:
If your mother had fibroids, your chances of having them is about three times higher than average.
Being obese raises your risk by two to three times compared with average-weight women.
Women of certain ethnicities are more likely to have fibroids. For example, they’re more common in African-American women than in white women.
A diet that contains large amounts of red meat and ham is linked to a higher risk of uterine fibroids; a diet rich in green vegetables may reduce your risk.
Uterine fibroids seem to respond to fluctuations in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. That could help explain why uterine fibroids may grow quickly during pregnancy, when hormone levels go up, and may shrink at menopause, when hormone levels go down.
Some women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms. Others may experience one or more symptoms, such as:
If uterine fibroids are causing you discomfort or interfering with your plans to have a family, several treatment options are available. They include:
We can help you learn more about your fibroid treatment options. Your care providers at Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, offer a full range of treatment for uterine fibroids, including minimally invasive procedures that require little downtime. We work with you to determine a treatment strategy that’s best for you. Call us to schedule an appointment.