Uterine fibroids affect 20-80% of women in their childbearing years. The reason for the wide range in numbers is that many women are unaware of their existence, because fibroids often don’t cause symptoms. When they do make themselves known, however, uterine fibroids can lead to a host of side effects that may require intervention.
At Advanced Endometriosis Center, Ulas Bozdogan, MD, and our team specialize in treating endometriosis and fibroids, and we offer the most advanced treatment protocols available to help you take charge of your reproductive health.
To help you better understand uterine fibroids, in the following we outline the different types of fibroids and when they may benefit from treatment.
The different types of uterine fibroids
In the most basic of terms, fibroids (leiomyomas) are growths in the walls of your uterus that are almost always benign. There are several types, including the following:
These types of fibroids are by far the most common. These growths develop in the muscle in the wall of your uterus and can range in size from a kernel of rice to, in less common cases, the size of a grapefruit.
The outside of your uterus is called the serosa, so these types of fibroids are ones that form on the exterior of your uterus.
If a subserosal fibroid develops a “stem” that attaches to the outside of your uterus, we refer to this as a pedunculated fibroid.
If a fibroid develops in the middle layer of muscle in your uterus, which is called the myometrium, we refer to it as a submucosal fibroid. These types of fibroids are not common.
As we mentioned, many women are unaware of the presence of fibroids because they often don’t cause symptoms. In most cases, fibroids resolve themselves after menopause.
That said, fibroids can become problematic, especially if they’re large or numerous. Some of the more common complaints include:
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your abdomen
- Pain during intercourse
- Pelvic vein obstruction
- Bladder and/or bowel issues
- Fertility issues
The most important step in determining your treatment is a thorough evaluation of the issue. At our practice, we turn to advanced imaging to confirm the presence, location, and size of fibroids.
In most cases, we first try to take conservative approaches to treating uterine fibroids. We may recommend medications to give you symptom relief and to shrink your fibroids.
However, if your fibroids don’t respond to conservative steps, we may recommend a uterus-preserving surgery called a myomectomy. With a myomectomy, Dr. Bozdogan uses minimally invasive techniques to remove the problematic fibroids from your uterus, thus causing the least amount of damage possible.
If your fibroids are highly problematic, and you’re struggling with issues like anemia, a hysterectomy may be your best solution. Here again, Dr. Bozdogan avails himself of the latest surgical technologies to remove your uterus.
If you’d like to learn more about uterine fibroids and what treatments are available to you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today.