Uterine fibroids are the most common gynecologic tumors. They’re not cancerous, but they can cause heavy menstrual periods and pelvic pain, and they contribute to infertility. Dr. Anthony Gyang at Osceola Gynecology has years of experience diagnosing and treating uterine fibroids using medical management and minimally invasive surgery. If you have questions about your symptoms, call one of the offices in Orlando, Kissimmee, and St. Cloud, Florida or book an appointment online.
Uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas or myomas, are noncancerous growths in the muscles that line your uterus. It’s not common, but fibroids may also develop in the uterine cavity or on the outer surface of the uterus, where they’re attached by a stalk or stem-like structure.
Fibroids vary in size: They can be so small they’re undetectable or as large as a grapefruit. You may develop many small fibroids, have one large growth, or both.
Although no one knows what causes fibroids, some factors are known to increase your risk. Fibroids are more common in African-American women, and they tend to appear more often during your 30s. You’re also more likely to develop fibroids if you were young when your periods started and you have a family history fibroids.
You may not develop any symptoms if your fibroids are small. As fibroids grow, you’ll experience:
Fibroids don’t resolve on their own, so Dr. Gyang offers several medical and surgical treatment options depending on your age and symptom severity, including:
Ibuprofen helps ease your pain and lessen abnormal uterine bleeding. Dr. Gyang may recommend hormone therapy to prevent fibroid growth, which is affected by estrogen.
Another group of medications, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, shrink fibroids, but they can only be used for six months to prevent potential side effects like osteoporosis.
A slender, flexible tube is threaded into uterine arteries. Using blood vessel mapping to visualize the location of the fibroids, Dr. Gyang injects the blood vessels with medication that blocks blood flow and shrinks the fibroid.
A myomectomy is a minimally invasive surgery for removing the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact for future pregnancies. Dr. Gyang may use laparoscopic surgery or access the fibroids through the vagina using a hysteroscope, depending on the location of the fibroids.
A minimally invasive hysterectomy to remove the uterus may be an option for women who are sure they don’t want more children.
If you experience symptoms of uterine fibroids, call Osceola Gynecology or book an appointment online.