Uterine fibroids are one of the most common health risks that women today bear. In fact, there is a 70 percent chance a woman will develop uterine fibroids at some point during her life. This makes uterine fibroids a health topic each woman should learn about.
In this post, learn about five important things you want to watch for with uterine fibroids.
Some Fibroids Cause No Symptoms At All
Because not all uterine fibroids cause symptoms, some women may not even know they have fibroids, unless they are detected during a routine pelvic exam. Many physicians advocate doing nothing to treat uterine fibroids unless there are symptoms that are causing health risks or discomfort.
However, in some patients, fibroids can cause severe symptoms, including heavy bleeding, abdominal cramps and severe pelvic pain. In this way, fibroids can become debilitating.
Fibroids Are Not Always Small
Fibroids can be quite small, but they can also grow as large as a watermelon if not detected and treated. In appearance, they have an uneven shape and consist of fat and tissue. Fibroids may be benign, but they are still considered tumors.
Uterine Fibroids Are, By Definition, Benign
A fibroid is a type of tumor that is benign (non-cancerous) in nature. However, the presence of uterine fibroids can mask the presence of uterine cancer, and this is not as uncommon as you may think. Fibroids can grow inside the uterus in just about any location. If the cancer is not detected until the fibroid removal process begins, there is then a risk of spreading the cancer to other areas of the patient’s body.
Today There are More Treatment Options for Fibroids
In the past, the default treatment option for fibroids was a full hysterectomy. However, this is now considered only one of many options, which is good news for women who still wish to have children.
Not only are there laser and ultrasound treatments that are much less invasive, but new hormone-based medications are also being developed that may provide a completely non-invasive type of treatment.
Fibroids Can Interfere Greatly With Fertility
Experts estimate that the presence of fibroids, whether symptomatic or not, can impact a woman’s ability to get pregnant by as much as 70 percent. Even if a woman with fibroids is able to get pregnant, there is still a much higher risk of premature labor and birth and complications during labor and delivery.
By knowing what uterine fibroids are, who is at risk, different types of symptoms and what to consider when seeking treatment, women can take action before fibroids begin to cause symptoms or interfere with the desire to have kids.