UTERINE FIBROIDS Q & A
What Are Fibroids?
As many as 3 out of 4 women will develop uterine fibroids. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the uterus or womb, developing from uterine smooth muscle tissue. Fibroids may grow in the wall of the uterus or may project into the interior cavity or toward the outer surface of the uterus.
Fibroids may grow as a single nodule or in clusters, ranging from 1/10 of an inch to up to 8 inches in diameter. Large fibroids can cause painful and life-altering symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Uterine Fibroids Patient Education
What Are Fibroid Symptoms?
Depending on the size, location and quantity of fibroids, these symptoms may occur:
- Heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding, sometimes with clots, that can lead to anemia
- Bloating or an enlarged abdomen
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- Need to urinate more often, and/or difficulty urinating
- Back or leg pain
- Difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy
What Are Fibroid Risk Factors?
- Age: Fibroids are most common in women aged 30 to 50. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.
- Family history: If the patient’s mother had fibroids, her risk is about three times higher than average.
- Ethnic origin: Black women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women. As many as 50% of Black women have fibroids of a significant size.
- Obesity: Women who are overweight are at higher risk. For very heavy women, the risk is two to three times greater than average. Women who do not engage in physical activity are also at a higher risk.
- Eating habits: An unbalanced diet that is high in red meat (e.g., beef) and ham, and low in vegetables, is linked with a higher risk of fibroids.
Other risk factors include high blood pressure, beginning menstruation before the age of 10, and never having given birth.
How Are Fibroids Diagnosed?
Fibroids are the most frequently diagnosed tumor of the female pelvis. Sometimes doctors will discover fibroids during a routine pelvic exam. A diagnosis is made after the pelvic exam and detailed medical history. Physicians may recommend imaging—such as Ultrasound, MRI or CT scan—to view the position, size, and dynamic of the fibroids, especially if problematic symptoms exist.
Many fibroids do not cause problems. If they do, family doctors and gynecologists may refer patients to a specialist for fibroid treatment.
Do Patients Need Treatment?
Fibroid treatment is only required in 10-20% of fibroids cases. If a patient’s fibroids do not cause her any symptoms, treatment is typically not needed.
How Are Fibroids Treated?
Uterine fibroids are the most frequent indication for surgical fibroid treatments, such as hysterectomy and myomectomy, in premenopausal women. These require general anesthesia, longer recovery times, and hormonal adjustments.
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a minimally invasive fibroid treatment that preserves the uterus. The UAE procedure blocks blood flowing to uterine fibroids, therefore causing the fibroid tumors to shrink. UAE may substantially reduce the need for hysterectomy.
Specialized Patient Care
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, Dr. Jilbert Eradat can help. With expertise in treating fibroids utilizing a non-surgical procedure, Dr. Eradat gives each patient individualized attention. Major insurance plans and Medicare accepted..