Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, can cause menstrual problems and pain
Uterine fibroids are benign, or non-cancerous, tumors. Muscular and connective tissue from the uterine wall make up these growths. They vary in size from small single growths to growths as large as eight inches in diameter or more. The growths can develop all over the uterus, anywhere from inside the uterine cavity to the outer uterine surface.
Fibroid growths develop differently in every woman. Some stay small for years, while others grow rapidly. While some women never experience problems, others have pain and other issues. These women can find relief by visiting the physicians at Athens ObGyn.
Certain women have a higher risk of developing leiomyomas
Women in their reproductive years, usually in their 30s and 40s, develop uterine fibroids most often. However, leiomyomas occur in women of every age. African American women are more likely to develop these growths than white women are. There are also other risk factors.
- Being obese.
- A family history of developing fibroid tumors.
- Having no children.
- Starting menstruation at a young age.
- Starting menopause at a later age.
Certain dietary conditions also may increase a woman’s risk of developing fibroids. Some examples include a lack of Vitamin D, eating a lot of red meat and drinking alcohol.
Uterine fibroids cause a variety of symptoms
Fibroids can cause the following symptoms in a woman.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding and periods that last longer and happen more frequently.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- Painful menstrual cramps, abdominal or lower back pain, or pain during sex.
- Frequent or difficult urination, constipation and difficulty with bowel movements.
- Enlargement of the abdomen or uterus.
- Fertility problems and/or miscarriages.
In some cases, our physicians discover fibroids during routine pelvic examinations. In other cases, the physicians conduct diagnostic tests based on the patient’s symptoms.
Some women respond to treatment with medication, while others require surgery. Surgeons can perform minimally invasive gynecological surgery to remove uterine fibroids. In a few cases, women may need a hysterectomy to address the problems and pain. Women who have symptoms and pain should contact the physicians at Athens ObGyn for diagnosis and treatment.