Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Hassan Abbas
Have you ever felt more discomfort or pain than usual when going through your menstrual periods? Does this pain seem to go on after periods or even occur when you do not have them? These may be symptoms of St. Louis uterine fibroids. The uterine fibroids are typical among many women without them knowing they exist. Most of them do not cause a significant issue, but some do, and ways of dealing with them are described below.
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What are Uterine fibroids?
It’s common for women to develop these benign tumors of the uterus during their childbearing years. Uterine fibroids do not raise the risk of uterine cancer and usually never progress to malignancy.
Many women who have uterine fibroids never know it. When symptoms emerge, they might be mild or severe, depending on the size and placement of the fibroids. Fibroid growth in the uterus can range from a tiny seedling to a vast mass that distorts and enlarges the uterus. Melon-sized fibroids are not uncommon.
Uterine fibroid growth can occur on any uterine wall, from the innermost layer to the outermost. It’s also possible for them to develop into the uterine cavity or to attach to the uterus by a thin stalk. A fibroid tumor may grow all by itself. On the other hand, typically, there is more than one. As many as three-quarters of women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in their lives, but few will ever know it because they typically present no symptoms.
What causes uterine fibroids is not well identified. Hormones, especially estrogen, may influence them.
What may increase your risk of uterine fibroids include:
Age. Fibroids are most common in women in their 40s.
Race. African-American women have a higher likelihood to have fibroids than women of other races.
Family history. If other women in your family have had fibroids, you’re more likely to have them.
Obesity. Women that are obese have a greater risk of fibroids.
Treatment and management
Most uterine fibroids don’t require treatment. If your fibroids cause symptoms, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
If your fibroids are small and your symptoms aren’t severe, your doctor may recommend:
Over-the-counter pain relievers: If you have mild pain from uterine cramping, you may be able to control it with ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.
Hormonal medications can help control heavy bleeding and shrink fibroids in some women and include Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists.
Combined oral contraceptives: Also called birth control pills, patches, or vaginal rings, these products contain the hormone progestin, which reduces the amount of bleeding during your period.
In a myomectomy, your surgeon removes your fibroids but leaves your uterus intact. Myomectomy may be performed using traditional, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery.
In a hysterectomy, your surgeon removes your uterus and cervix. A hysterectomy may be performed using traditional, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery.
Unfortunately, uterine fibroids cannot be avoided with absolute certainty. A doctor may advise waiting it out or delaying treatment if they see no symptoms. With watchful waiting, you and your doctor monitor your symptoms and fibroids over time. However, if you have discomforting symptoms, check our website, or call our offices in St. Louis, MO, for consultation.