Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus. The growths are attached to or become part of the muscular walls of the uterus. Anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of women may develop uterine fibroids by age 50. The exact cause of uterine fibroids is not yet known. However, researchers believe genetics and changing hormone levels may play a role.
Dignity Health doctors provide excellent treatment for fibroids in Arizona. We serve the unique needs of women at three facilities:
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Signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids are:
- Reproductive problems, including infertility and miscarriage
- Painful periods
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Menstrual periods that are longer than usual
- Feeling of fullness in the pelvic or lower abdominal area
- Enlarged uterus and abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sex
Symptoms vary from woman to woman. Symptoms may depend upon the size, location, and number of fibroids. Some women with uterine fibroids have no obvious symptoms.
Fibroid Treatment at Dignity Health
Treatment options depend upon the size, location, and number of fibroids; the severity of your symptoms; your age and medical history; and your reproductive goals.
Treatment options for uterine fibroids include the following.
- Endometrial ablation. This specialized procedure destroys the lining of the uterus in order to eliminate most fibroids.
- Myolysis. During myolysis, gynecologic surgeons use electricity or extreme cold to destroy uterine fibroids.
- Uterine artery embolization. Doctors can shrink uterine fibroids by cutting off their blood supply. Tiny plastic or gel particles are placed into the blood vessels leading to the fibroids.
- Surgery. A myomectomy is surgery to remove uterine fibroids. Surgeons take out the fibroids but leave the uterus intact. If your reproductive goals do not include having children, your surgeon may suggest a hysterectomy (s)urgical removal of the entire uterus.
- Medications: If your symptoms are mild, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medication to relieve discomfort during your menstrual period. If your symptoms are interfering with your life, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills or a hormone-releasing IUD to regulate your hormone levels and help decrease symptoms. Medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists may also be prescribed to shrink uterine fibroids.
Each fibroid treatment has risks and benefits. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you and recommend the best course of action.
Dignity Health provides comprehensive treatment for gynecologic conditions, including fibroids, in Arizona.