Specialized Treatment for Uterine Fibriods
If you suspect you may have uterine fibroids, or if you are struggling with symptoms of your uterine fibroids and are seeking relief, you are in great care at Honu Women’s Health. Our board-certified OB/GYN, Dr. Aya Sultan, works patiently together with patients experiencing the discomfort of uterine fibroids to find solutions that actually work. Living your best life—even with uterine fibroids—is entirely possible, and Honu Women’s Health is here to help you optimize your total body health.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow within the walls of the uterus. They are very common, with some estimates saying 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids. While many women never experience any symptoms of uterine fibroids, others may experience bothersome symptoms varying in severity. We believe in treating uterine fibroids as least invasively as possible with your quality of life as our top consideration.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
It is important to keep in mind that uterine fibroids are not cancerous, nor are they indicative of an increased risk of developing cancer. Fibroids rarely develop into cancer, so it is typically unnecessary to remove them unless they result in significant symptoms.
Common symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or periods lasting more than a week
- Painful periods
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Recurrent miscarriages (SAB)
- Leg pains or backache
While some symptoms may be treatable through prescription medications or a change in diet, others may require surgical intervention. Depending on a woman’s stage of life, these surgical interventions may range from minimally invasive hysteroscopic procedures to extensive abdominal surgeries.
Causes of Uterine Fibroids
The cause of uterine fibroids remains unknown. There is some existing research that suggests a link between fibroids and genetic changes, hormones and other growth factors. There is also discussion in scientific literature that uterine fibroids develop from a stem cell in the smooth muscle tissue of the uterus; and fibroids form from the repeated division of this stem cell. Fibroids are typically fed by estrogen and progesterone and can shrink after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production, although the magnitude of shrinkage will depend on the starting size of the fibroid.
Risk factors that could make a woman more likely to get uterine fibroids are heredity, race and environmental factors. If your mother or sister had fibroids, your risk of developing them is increased. Black women are more likely to get fibroids than other racial groups, and black women tend to get them at younger ages. Women who get their first period at a young age are also more likely to develop fibroids, as are women who use birth control, are obese or have a vitamin D deficiency. A diet higher in red meat and lower in green vegetables and fruits also increases the risks of developing fibroids.
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Options for Uterine Fibroid Management
For many women, having uterine fibroids does not immediately mean treatment is necessary. Fibroids can be located within the uterine cavity (submucosal fibroids), within the uterine musculature (intramural fibroid), on the uterine surface (subserosal fibroid) or hanging off the uterus (pedunculated fibroid). Fibroids can also range in size from small sub-centimeter sizes to very large abdominal-filling masses. Fibroid management is dependent on the location and size of the fibroid and aimed at symptom relief, whether by addressing the fibroid directly (via surgical removal) or indirectly (such as through dietary changes or medications). For all procedures except hysterectomy, there is a chance that new fibroids will develop later.
Choosing the Best Solution for Uterine Fibroids
Improving your quality of life in the safest way possible is our top priority at Honu Women’s Health. This is why, in most cases, we will recommend uterine fibroid options that best fit your symptoms, type and size of fibroid, and stage of life. We believe in caring for women’s total body health and embrace the fact that every woman has a uniqueness in body, mind and spirit. We never take a one-size-fits-all approach to women’s health and look forward to developing a customized plan for optimizing your health.
Contact us today to start your journey to better health and a renewed quality of life.