About 20%-80% of women develop uterine fibroids by the time they turn 50. The team of expert OB/GYNs at Mott Women Healthcare diagnoses and treats women with fibroids at their location in New York City. If you think you may have fibroids, call or book an appointment online today.
Fibroids are benign (noncancerous) tumors that grow from the muscle tissue in the uterus. Also called myomas or leiomyomas, fibroids vary greatly in size, shape, and location. They can develop inside the uterus, attached to its outer surface, or within the uterine wall.
It’s possible to have only one fibroid or many of different sizes. Some fibroids grow gradually over several years, while others remain small for a long time and then grow rapidly. Fibroids that grow large can cause your abdomen to swell and appear pregnant.
Fibroids can occur at any age, but they’re most common in women ages 30-40. These tumors typically shrink after menopause. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing fibroids, such as:
Women who are overweight or obese are also at greater risk of developing fibroids. Obesity increases your risk of fibroids by about two to three times above average.
Many women with fibroids don’t experience any symptoms at all. When fibroids do cause symptoms, they may include:
In rare cases, fibroids can lead to infertility, or difficulty getting pregnant. Fibroids can also cause problems during pregnancy and childbirth, including preterm delivery and an increased chance of needing a Cesarean section.
Your provider at Mott Women Healthcare may discover you have fibroids during a routine pelvic exam. In some cases, they may be able to feel a lump or mass on your uterus. To confirm you have fibroids, they may take an ultrasound imaging test to view your uterus.
They may also perform hysteroscopy or laparoscopy to diagnose fibroids. During hysteroscopy, your provider at Mott Women Healthcare passes a long, thin scope through your vagina and into the opening in your cervix to look for fibroids inside your uterus.
Laparoscopy involves making a tiny incision near your belly button. They insert the scope through this incision to examine your uterus and pelvic organs.
Then, they discuss the best treatment for your particular condition. Small fibroids that don’t cause symptoms may not require treatment at all. Other treatments include hormonal medications such as birth control.
Fibroids that cause moderate to severe symptoms that don’t improve with medication may require surgery.
To find out if you have fibroids, call or book an appointment online today.