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Leiomyoma, commonly called fibroids, are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Fibroids may grow in clusters, or may be singular and may be as small as a pea or in rare cases, as large as a grapefruit. Fibroids are almost always benign (non-cancerous).
Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but common symptoms include:
Lower back pain
Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam if fibroids are suspected. Imaging tests, including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or x-rays may be used to confirm of diagnosis of fibroids.
If you have mild symptoms of fibroids, your doctor may suggest taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help relieve any pain. If you experience heavy bleeding during your periods, your doctor may prescribe or suggest iron supplements to keep you from getting anemia. Low-dose birth control medications also can help control your symptoms. This medication inhibits the growth of fibroids and can help control any heavy bleeding you may be experiencing.
For moderate to severe fibroid symptoms, surgery may be the best course of treatment. Depending on your specific needs, your doctor may suggest one of the following surgical options:
This is surgery to remove fibroids without taking out the healthy tissue of the uterus. This option is for women who wish to have children after treatment for their fibroids.
This is surgery to remove the uterus, and is the only sure way to cure uterine fibroids. This surgery is used when a woman's fibroids are large, if she has heavy bleeding, is either near or past menopause, or does not want children.
This is when the lining of the uterus is removed or destroyed to control very heavy bleeding. This procedure usually is considered minor surgery and can be done on an outpatient basis or even in a doctor's office.
You’re a doer. So when it comes to changes in your own body, why is it that you put it off? It’s time to take action and talk to a professional (no offense to your friends). If you would like to be notified of future women’s health events in your area, let us know!