Gynecology Services

 

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids 

 

 

 A uterine fibroid is a noncancerous growth of muscle tissue in the uterus. They are also called leiomyomas or myomas.  The shape, size and location of the fibroid can vary. They may be inside the uterus, outside or attached by a stem-like structure. They can vary in size from very small to large. Women can have one more many fibroids in her uterus.

Uterine fibroids are very common, and occur more often in women aged 30-40 years; however, they are seen at any age. Fibroids arise more often in Black and Asian women more than in White women. Their cause is unknown.

Although most of the time fibroids are without symptoms, they can be the cause of excessive vaginal bleedeing, vaginal bleeding at times other than menustruation, abdominal pain, pain with intercourse, an enlarged abdomen, trouble voiding or having bowel movements, or pelvic pressure.

Complications from fibroids are uncommon. Fibroids that are attacehd to the uterus by a stem may twise on their blood supply. This can cause pain, nausea, and/or fever. Fibroids can rarely become infected. In most cases this only happens when an infection is already in the area. Fibroids can grow rapidly, and outgrow their blood supply, causing degeneration of the tissue in the middle of the fibroid. Again, this can cause fever, pain, and abnormal bleeding patterns. In very rare cases, rapid growth of the fibroid may be the cause of infertility, especially if they are obstructing the entrance of a fallopian tube, or growing in the uterine cavity. Since this is not very common in women of reporductive age, other factors should be explored before fibroids are considered the cause of a caouple's infertility.

Diagnosis

There are a number of tests for the diagnosis of uterine fibroids.

Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the uterus, tubes and ovaries.

Hysteroscopy uses a slender deviced (the hysteroscope) to help the doctor see the inside of the uterus. It is inserted through the vagina and cervix (the opening of the uterus). Many times, this can be down in a physician's office.

Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a special x-ray test. It may detect abnormal changes in the size and shape of the uterine cavity and the fallopain tubes.

Laparoscopy uses a slender device (the laparoscope) to help the doctor see inside of the abdomen. It is inserted through a small cute below or through the navel. The doctor can see the fibroids on the outside of the uterus with the laparoscope.

Treatment

Treatment for fibroids may include observation of symptoms, hormonal treatment (may help excessive bleeding), uterine fibroid embloization (a radiologist blocks blood flow to the fibroid). surgery (myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids while leaving the uterus in place) or hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus).

If you have a history of fibroids or are having any of the symptoms of fibroids, you should consult your physician.

Click here for more information. (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)

 

Uterine Fibroids