Fibroids primarily develop during a woman’s reproductive years, when estrogen levels are at their highest. Approximately 30% of women get fibroids before age 35, and 20 to 80% by age 50.
While fibroids go unnoticed by many women, they often cause ongoing pain. Our expert team, can treat your painful fibroids here at the Fresno Fibroid Center, in Fresno, California.
5 main symptoms of uterine fibroids
While uterine fibroids are not cancer, they can still wreak havoc on your life. Depending on their location and size, fibroids may or may not cause pain. Symptoms that may suggest the presence of fibroids include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pelvic cramping
- Frequent urination or difficulty emptying your bladder
- Painful intercourse
- Ongoing backache or leg pains
Large fibroids can even extend into your pelvis or abdomen. They may also cause pain when they outgrow their blood supply and begin to die.
Types of fibroids
Fibroids are characterized based upon their location and size, such as:
- Submucosal fibroids that extend to the uterus
- Intramural fibroids that expand within the muscular uterine wall
- Subserosal fibroids that protrude beyond the uterus
- Pedunculated fibroids, subserosal fibroids that develop a stem to anchor the tumor
- Cervical fibroids that surface at the neck of the womb at the cervix
If pelvic pain persists, or you begin spotting between your periods, contact one of our doctors to review your symptoms.
Possible causes of fibroids
While we’re not completely sure what causes fibroids, several common factors may contribute to their development. These include:
- Hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which stimulate the uterine lining in preparation for pregnancy during your monthly cycle
- Genetic changes that take place within the uterine muscle cells
- Single stem cells within the uterus that divide repeatedly, creating a firm mass
Factors including obesity and frequent consumption of alcohol, red meat, and caffeine, may also increase your risk of fibroids. Fibroids usually shrink after menopause as hormone production decreases.
Let us ease your fibroid pain
While the effects of diet on fibroid growth and development are not completely clear, some evidence suggests that increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables might help reduce the risk of developing fibroids. We can discuss treatment options for painful fibroids, including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that reduce fibroid pain
- Birth control pills to regulate ovulation and possibly reduce menstrual pain and bleeding
- A hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) to lessen painful, heavy periods by releasing progestin
While these may help, they may also cause unwanted side effects, such as headaches, breast tenderness, and more.
For those suffering more significantly from fibroid-related issues, multiple other treatments exist, such as:
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
The most minimally-invasive procedure to treat fibroid symptoms. We cut off the blood supply to the fibroid so it eventually dies, all performed through a single pinhole-like puncture into the body.
A surgical procedure to remove fibroids from the uterus of women still hoping to get pregnant.
Surgery to remove the entire uterus.
Help is on the way
To diagnose and ease the pain of fibroids or discuss any other health-related issues with one of our experienced doctors, simply call or book a consultation online with Fresno Fibroid Center today.