Gynecology Specialists of Philadelphia
Many women have uterine fibroids without even knowing it, but in some cases, they can cause painful symptoms and reproductive problems. At Gynecology Specialists of Philadelphia, acclaimed gynecological surgeon Sonya Lee, MD can treat uterine fibroids and know that hysterectomy isn’t the only option. If you suspect you have fibroids and want the most advanced treatment available, call Gynecology Specialists or book an appointment online today.
Fibroids Q & A
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow in and around the muscle tissue of your uterus. Fibroids vary significantly in size, shape, and location. These tumors can develop:
- Inside the uterus
- Within the uterine wall
- On the outer surface of the uterus
- Attached to the uterus by a stem-like structure
You may have only one, or many at the same time. It’s possible for a fibroid to remain small for several years and then proliferate.
These tumors rarely turn into cancer, but some women need to have them treated or removed to stop painful symptoms. Fibroids that are attached to your uterus by a stem may twist, causing pain, nausea, or fever. Those that grow quickly can use up the available blood supply and start to break down, which also causes pain.
In some cases, fibroids may cause difficulty getting pregnant.
How do I know if I have fibroids?
Many women with fibroids don’t experience any symptoms at all. For those who do, symptoms vary depending on the size, number, and location of the growths. Common symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Long, painful periods
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Pain during sex
- Frequent urination
- Lower back pain
- Bloating in the lower abdomen
The best way to find out if you have fibroids is to book an exam with Gynecology Specialists and discuss your concerns about fibroid symptoms.
Who is at risk for getting fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are extremely common. In fact, they’re the most common non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age.
Although the exact cause of fibroids is unknown, research shows that the following factors may increase your risk of developing them:
- Increasing age
- Family history of fibroids
- A diet heavy in meat
How does a gynecologist treat fibroids?
Dr. Lee knows that a hysterectomy isn’t the only solution for treating uterine fibroids. Whenever possible, they use advanced medical techniques to help you overcome painful symptoms of fibroids without surgery.
As experts in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, Dr. Lee may recommend one of the following procedures to identify and treat your fibroids:
- Laparoscopic myomectomy (removal of fibroids) or hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- Uterine artery embolization
The exact treatment depends on the size and number of your fibroids.
If you’re looking for relief from debilitating symptoms of fibroids and want to explore other options before a hysterectomy, call Gynecology Specialists or book an appointment online today.