What are fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are benign growths that grow either within or adjacent to the uterus. The size of the fibroid can range from small, pea sized growths, to large growths that resemble an impregnated uterus, occupying a large portion of the pelvis.
What are symptoms of fibroid uterus?
- Changes in menstruation including longer, heavier, and more frequent periods
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary frequency or urgency due to pressure put on the bladder from the fibroid
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Enlarged abdomen/ Constant bloated feeling
- Anemia (from the excessive bleeding)
Can fibroids be treated?
Fibroids can be removed or reduced with either medication or surgery. The fibroid can be isolated and removed via *myomectomy* or the uterus as a whole can be removed with a *hysterectomy* to prevent any further regrowth of the fibroids. Certain medications that act as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists can also be used to shrink the fibroid in size. This is typically administered with an injection and will temporarily stop a woman’s menstrual cycle. These medications are typically administered prior to surgery to make the fibroid more manageable and prevent excessive bleeding during surgery. For women with smaller fibroids, birth control pills can also be used to control the abnormal bleeding. Some women with fibroids do not experience life-altering symptoms and in those cases, routine pelvic ultrasounds can be used to monitor the size of the fibroids
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