Fibroids are a prevalent women’s health condition that develops as noncancerous growths in or on the uterus. If you have symptoms such as heavy periods or chronic pelvic pain, contact the team at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology. With offices located in Lancaster, Elizabethtown, Columbia, Ephrata, Intercourse, Willow Street, and Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the team at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology offers convenient and compassionate women’s health care. Call or make an appointment online today.
Fibroids are growths that develop in or on the wall of your uterus. In most cases, fibroids are benign — noncancerous — and don't cause disruptive symptoms.
Fibroids range in both size and volume; for example, you may have a single growth or several, and they range in size from as small as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit.
Fibroids are identified as intramural if they grow inside your uterine wall, submucosal when they grow on interior uterine walls, and subserosal develop on the outside walls of the uterus.
While it’s possible to have uterine fibroids and not experience any symptoms, you may experience:
If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with the team at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology for expert diagnosis.
Doctors and medical researchers are still studying uterine fibroids and what causes them. Research indicates that some fibroids are due to genetic changes and that your estrogen and progesterone levels contribute to fibroid growth.
Your risk of developing uterine fibroids is higher if you have a family history of the condition. Statistically, Black women are more likely than women of other races to develop fibroids. If you started menstruating early, your risk of fibroids also increases.
Following a diet that includes a lot of red meat and alcohol or being overweight can also increase your risk of fibroids.
The women’s health experts at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology diagnose uterine fibroids with pelvic exams and other imaging studies. During your pelvic exam, your doctor feels your uterus, and in some cases, can diagnose fibroids through touch. They may also need to use a diagnostic imaging tool like ultrasound, MRI, or hysteroscopy to confirm your diagnosis.
Treatment for fibroids depends on your symptoms. For example, if you don’t have any signs, you may just need to monitor the fibroids and wait and see if any treatment is necessary.
Or, if you have mild symptoms, you may benefit from medicine. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with cramps, and pelvic pain and oral contraceptives can reduce heavy periods. Your doctor may prescribe gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists to shrink your fibroids.
If you have large fibroids that are causing severe and disruptive symptoms, your doctor may recommend myomectomy — surgery to remove your fibroids that does not affect your fertility. Whenever possible, the team at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology uses minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques to remove fibroids.
If you’re concerned about fibroids or are living with disruptive reproductive health symptoms, call May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology or make an appointment online today.