Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that appear in women mostly during their reproductive years. These growths don’t increase your chances of developing cancer, and they’re also quite common, as up to 30% of women have them.
Risk factors for uterine fibroids include being overweight or obese, having low levels of vitamin D, being of African descent, and having higher estrogen levels.
The good news is that not all fibroids cause symptoms or decrease your chances of getting pregnant or carrying out a pregnancy. To help you get a better understanding of your situation, Dr. Ulas Bozdogan outlines the different types of fibroids, explains how they impact your health, and reveals what treatment options are available to you.
Fibroids inside the muscle of your uterus
Intramural fibroids are the most common type of fibroids. They appear within the muscular wall of your uterus, stretching the wall when they grow.
Many women have intramural fibroids, but these growths can go undetected if they’re not large enough to cause symptoms.
Fibroids situated outside the uterus
Subserosal fibroids appear on the outside of your uterus, and they can put pressure on your bladder and cause pelvic pain. These growths can also lead to pregnancy complications such as preterm delivery and fetal growth restriction.
Uterine fibroids with a stem
Pedunculated fibroids can appear both inside and outside the uterus, but what makes these fibroids special is that they grow attached to a stem. These types of growth can lead to sharp pain, heavy periods, and discomfort.
When uterine fibroids require treatment
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment for fibroids. If Dr. Bozdogan discovers you have a fibroid that doesn’t cause any symptoms, he may recommend watchful waiting.
Symptoms to look for include the following:
- Heavy periods
- A bulge in your abdomen that doesn’t go away
When it comes to fertility, size and location are what make fibroids problematic. If your fibroid is outside your uterus, it won’t affect fertility. However, if your fibroid pushes on your Fallopian tubes, it may prevent you from getting pregnant.
Fibroid removal no longer affects your fertility
Fortunately, some treatments can remove your uterine fibroids without harming your chances of getting pregnant.
Depending on your goals and the type of uterine fibroids you have, Dr. Ulas Bozdogan may recommend a minimally invasive surgical procedure called uterine artery embolization to remove your fibroids or to cut off their blood supply.
Other treatment options include hormonal therapy and MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS). Each treatment option has advantages and disadvantages, and the only way to determine your best option is to see a specialist who can analyze your medical history and goals.
Are your uterine fibroids causing you discomfort and pain? Contact Dr. Ulas Bozdogan to schedule an appointment at one of his offices in New York, New York, or Hackensack, New Jersey.