Up to 80% of women develop uterine fibroids by the time they reach age 50. Fibroids often have no symptoms and need no intervention, but if you have one that is troublesome, Cordia Clark-White, MD, of Women’s Progressive Health Care near Southside Chicago can be of assistance. Call her office to learn about fibroid management and treatment.
Uterine fibroids form on the inside of your uterus. They’re usually noncancerous and range in size from very small – like a seed – to large – like a grapefruit. In most women, fibroids cause no symptoms, but if they’re particularly large, you may need treatment. Some fibroids may be of manageable size but still irritate your system, too.
Fibroids that are symptomatic can be difficult to live with. You may suffer the following as a result of a fibroid.
If you experience these symptoms, talk to Dr. Clark-White at Women’s Progressive Health Care. She can direct you to ultrasound testing to look for uterine fibroids.
If fibroids are detected during a routine exam but aren’t causing symptoms, Dr. Clark-White may suggest you simply watch the fibroids to make sure they don’t start to cause problems in the future. You’ll be scheduled for regular ultrasounds to ensure the fibroids aren’t growing too much.
Whether or not you need treatment and the type you receive depends on your age and your family plans. If you want children or are approaching menopause, your treatments will differ.
Mild symptoms of fibroids can be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. If you have serious bleeding during your menstrual period, Dr. Clark-White might recommend an iron supplement to prevent iron-deficiency anemia.
Dr. Clark-White may also recommend birth control pills or progesterone injections, such as Depo-Provera®, may be a solution for fibroid symptoms such as heavy periods and pelvic pain. A hormone-based IUD can also be a solution for these symptoms – at least short term.
If you’re experiencing moderate-to-severe symptoms due to your fibroids, you may need surgery. Surgery can involve a myomectomy to remove just the fibroid and no surrounding tissue. But in some women, a full hysterectomy that removes the entire uterus is necessary. With no uterus, fibroids cannot grow, but the removal of the uterus also means you cannot have children in the future.
To learn more about treatment for fibroids, call Women’s Progressive Health Care or schedule online.