Women’s menstrual periods are usually accompanied by pain and discomfort. However, some symptoms like excessive pain and bleeding may indicate an underlying condition that may not be easy to notice. These may be signs of diseases such as uterine fibroids. The article below discusses in further detail uterine fibroids treatment Houston, TX. The condition and possible remedies are explained further.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are growths of the uterus and often come about when you are trying to get a child. Fibroids are, however, not associated with uterine cancer and rarely lead to cancer.
The fibroids are of sizes varying from one barely visible to the naked eye to bulky masses that enlarge and distort the uterus. Some rare cases may involve multiple fibroids that grow and expand the uterus toward the rib cage, therefore, adding weight.
Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids typically have no symptoms; thus, you may have them at some point in your life. Doctors use a pelvic exam or a prenatal ultrasound to discover uterine fibroids.
The size, location, and the number of fibroids determine the symptoms experienced. The most common symptoms and signs include:
- Menstrual periods lasting for over a week
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Frequent urination
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
- Leg pains or backache
Acute pain may be felt on rare occasions when a fibroid outgrows its blood supply and dies.
Fibroids are typically classified by their locations, i.e.:
- Submucosal fibroids bulge into the uterine cavity
- Intramural fibroids that grow within the muscular uterine wall
- Subserosal fibroids that project to the outside of your uterus
Causes of Uterine Fibroids
The exact cause might not be nailed down, although various involved factors include:
- Hormonal changes in progesterone and estrogen, which are responsible for the development of the uterine lining during menstruation
- Genetic changes as most fibroids have different genes from typical uterine muscle cells
- Extracellular matrix material that makes cells stick together may be increased in fibroids making them more fibrous and causing biological cell changes
- Other growth factors that assist the body maintain tissues like insulin-like growth factor
Diagnosis and Treatment
A routine pelvic exam may reveal uterine fibroids, although additional tests that may be required include:
- Lab tests like complete blood count to determine if you have anemia due to chronic blood loss while ruling out thyroid problems or bleeding disorders
- An ultrasound for a picture of your uterus to confirm the diagnosis while locating and measuring the fibroid size
Other imaging tests that may be needed include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging
Uterine fibroids without signs and symptoms may shrink away. However, treatment may require medications like:
- Progestin-releasing intrauterine device
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
- Tranexamic acid
Minimally invasive procedures that can be performed include:
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Uterine artery embolization
- Endometrial ablation
As a last option, surgical procedures may include:
- Abdominal myomectomy
A proper and in-depth diagnosis needs to be made to determine your condition’s severity. This may remove the need for invasive procedures as some fibroids shrink away independently. For any uterine fibroid inquiries, call our offices in Houston, TX.