Treatment for Uterine Fibroids in Atlanta, GA
Uterine fibroids are an especially tricky and perplexing condition to have. A majority of the time, these non-cancerous tumors within the uterus will not present any symptoms at all, making them quite difficult to diagnose.
For others, symptoms of fibroids can cause a wide range of troublesome symptoms including heavy menstrual bleeding and intense pain. Women who experience daily struggles due to their fibroid symptoms are encouraged to seek treatment because these symptoms will likely only worsen as the fibroid(s) continue to grow even larger over time.
Dr. Rita Sharma provides comprehensive testing and treatment for fibroids at her office in Tucker, Georgia. Learn more about fibroids and call to schedule your appointment today!
What Causes Fibroids?
Unfortunately, there is no one particular cause to fibroids. Medical professionals and researchers speculate that the development of uterine fibroids is related to hormonal imbalances as well as the patient’s genetic history, meaning that individuals have little to no control over their risk for encountering this condition.
Risk Factors for Fibroids
In addition to having irregular hormone levels and a family history of fibroids, other factors that can influence a woman’s risk of developing fibroids are:
- Her age: Fibroids are most commonly diagnosed between age 30 and 40.
- Her weight: Obese individuals are more likely to suffer from fibroids. The more weight a woman carries, the greater her risk.
- Her ethnicity: African-American women encounter problems with uterine fibroids more than any other ethnic group.
- Her diet: More recent studies have shown that a high intake of red meat can negatively impact a woman’s likelihood to develop fibroid. In contrast, eating more leafy greens and fruit can have a positive effect on this particular risk factor.
Common Symptoms of Fibroids
As mentioned, fibroids typically cause excessive bleeding along with recurring pelvic pain. This pain is often misdiagnosed by patients as regular cramping during their menstrual cycle, but is most often the result of the positioning or increasing size of their uterine fibroids.
In addition to heavy bleeding and pain, fibroids can also cause:
- Bloating of the lower abdomen
- Frequent and sudden need to urinate
- Pain during intercourse
- Problems with fertility
- Low back pain
- Complications during pregnancy
Types of Fibroids
Uterine fibroids can appear in various areas of the uterus, leading to different categorization based on the location of the patient’s tissue mass. There are 4 distinct types of fibroids, which include:
- Pedunculated fibroids: A fibroid that develops a supportive stem that forms at the base of the tumor.
- Subserosal fibroids: A type of uterine fibroid that grows along the outside of the uterus.
- Intramural fibroids: The most common kind of uterine fibroid, which appears within the uterine wall itself.
- Submucosal fibroids: Similar to the intramural fibroid type, these fibroids also develop within the uterine wall, though they more specifically exist within the submucosal layer of this muscular tissue.
How are Fibroids Treated?
If you experience mild symptoms associated with your uterine fibroids, then you may be able to manage them with simple changes to your diet or daily routine. Some preliminary treatments to try at home include:
- Applying a hot compress to your lower abdomen several times a day can significantly reduce pain caused by uterine fibroids.
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers and blood thinners such as ibuprofen to reduce pressure and inflammation within the uterus can be quite helpful.
- Modifying your diet to cut out processed foods or foods that contain high levels of the estrogen hormone.
There are a variety of prescription medications that can be utilized to help regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle, which can help to alleviate fibroid symptoms. Such medications can range from common forms of hormonal birth control to drugs specifically designed to treat uterine fibroids.
It should be noted that medications for fibroids are fairly new, meaning that their potential side effects are not entirely known.
A myomectomy is the surgical removal of a fibroid. This treatment is ideal for those who have a fibroid that protrudes from the uterine wall. Any fibroid that is situated deep within the uterine tissue will be difficult to remove without causing significant damage or scarring to the uterus or the uterine lining.
Patients who experience especially severe complications as a result of their uterine fibroids may be recommended for a hysterectomy. This surgery involves the complete removal of the uterus, which subsequently is the only way to guarantee a permanent reprieve from uterine fibroids and their symptoms.
This procedure is not recommended for women looking to preserve their fertility as there is no natural way to conceive and carry a child without a uterus. Many who choose to undergo a hysterectomy will consider it as a last resort after attempting other, less invasive treatment methods