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Uterine Fibroid Treatment in Omaha, NE
A fibroid is a benign mass of cells that exist within the tissues of the uterus. These lumps are not cancerous, though they can cause significant symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, chronic pain, and more.
Fibroids are an extremely common female condition, and are said to affect up to 80% of all women by age 50, though not every individual will present symptoms of fibroids. Many women that do experience difficulties with fibroids will begin to notice symptoms as their benign tumors gradually grow larger over time. This growth is likely to continue, along with worsening symptoms, if the woman’s fibroids remain untreated.
The board certified OB/GYNs at Associates in Womens Health in Omaha, NE provide expert treatment for women suffering from uterine fibroids. Learn more about your treatment options and call (402) 697-7200 to schedule your appointment today.
Common Causes of Fibroids?
Unfortunately, there is no one particular cause to fibroids. Medical professionals and researchers speculate that the development of uterine fibroids is related to hormonal imbalances as well as the patient’s genetic history, meaning that individuals have little to no control over their risk for encountering this condition.
Uterine Fibroid Risk Factors
In addition to having irregular hormone levels and a family history of fibroids, other factors that can influence a woman’s risk of developing fibroids are:
- Her age: Fibroids are most commonly diagnosed between age 30 and 40.
- Her weight: Obese individuals are more likely to suffer from fibroids. The more weight a woman carries, the greater her risk.
- Her ethnicity: African-American women encounter problems with uterine fibroids more than any other ethnic group.
- Her diet: More recent studies have shown that a high intake of red meat can negatively impact a woman’s likelihood to develop fibroid. In contrast, eating more leafy greens and fruit can have a positive effect on this particular risk factor.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
As mentioned, fibroids typically cause excessive bleeding along with recurring pelvic pain. This pain is often misdiagnosed by patients as regular cramping during their menstrual cycle, but is most often the result of the positioning or increasing size of their uterine fibroids.
In addition to heavy bleeding and pain, fibroids can also cause:
- Bloating of the lower abdomen
- Frequent and sudden need to urinate
- Pain during intercourse
- Problems with fertility
- Low back pain
- Complications during pregnancy
Types of Fibroids
Uterine fibroids can appear in various areas of the uterus, leading to different categorization based on the location of the patient’s tissue mass. There are 4 distinct types of fibroids, which include:
- Pedunculated fibroids: A fibroid that develops a supportive stem that forms at the base of the tumor.
- Subserosal fibroids: A type of uterine fibroid that grows along the outside of the uterus.
- Intramural fibroids: The most common kind of uterine fibroid, which appears within the uterine wall itself.
- Submucosal fibroids: Similar to the intramural fibroid type, these fibroids also develop within the uterine wall, though they more specifically exist within the submucosal layer of this muscular tissue.
What are the Treatment Options for Fibroids?
There are a variety of treatment methods available for women with uterine fibroids. Individuals who do not experience significant symptoms of fibroids are unlikely to ever require treatment, but those who frequently suffer from pain and discomfort from fibroids should consult with your gynecologist at Associates in Womens Health Omaha about their options.
If you experience mild symptoms associated with your uterine fibroids, then you may be able to manage them with simple changes to your diet or daily routine. Some preliminary treatments to try at home include:
- Applying a hot compress to your lower abdomen several times a day can significantly reduce pain caused by uterine fibroids.
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers and blood thinners such as ibuprofen to reduce pressure and inflammation within the uterus can be quite helpful.
- Modifying your diet to cut out processed foods or foods that contain high levels of the estrogen hormone.
There are a variety of prescription medications that can be utilized to help regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle, which can help to alleviate fibroid symptoms. Such medications can range from common forms of hormonal birth control to drugs specifically designed to treat uterine fibroids.
It should be noted that medications for fibroids are fairly new, meaning that their potential side effects are not entirely known.
A myomectomy is the surgical removal of a fibroid. This treatment is ideal for those who have a fibroid that protrudes from the uterine wall. Any fibroid that is situated deep within the uterine tissue will be difficult to remove without causing significant damage or scarring to the uterus or the uterine lining.
Patients who experience especially severe complications as a result of their uterine fibroids may be recommended for a hysterectomy. This surgery involves the complete removal of the uterus, which subsequently is the only way to guarantee a permanent reprieve from uterine fibroids and their symptoms.
This procedure is not recommended for women looking to preserve their fertility as there is no natural way to conceive and carry a child without a uterus. Many who choose to undergo a hysterectomy will consider it as a last resort after attempting other, less invasive treatment methods.
Call Associates in Womens Health in Omaha, NE at (402) 697-7200 to schedule an exam today!