What are uterine fibroids?
According to UCLA Health, between 20-50% of women have uterine fibroids, with estimates that up to 77% of women will develop them at some point in their lives. Found in the uterus, these firm, compact tumors are comprised of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. It is also important to note that uterine fibroids aren’t associated with cancer and don’t increase your risk of developing cancer in the future.
Am I at risk of developing fibroids?
If your mother or another close female relative had them, chances are you’ll develop fibroids as well. Women older than 30 are more susceptible. Once you reach menopause, uterine fibroids shrink naturally.
A hormonal imbalance can also stimulate fibroid growth. For example, you produce more estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, which is a common time for fibroids to develop. Your diet may also cause uterine fibroids to develop. If you eat a lot of red meat and ham, you raise your risk of developing fibroids. A diet rich in green vegetables can decrease your chances of developing these benign tumors.
How do I know if I have uterine fibroids?
Most women don’t know they have fibroids because they don’t cause obvious symptoms. Usually, heavy periods, frequent urination, painful intercourse, lower back pain, and full feelings in the lower belly can be signs that you have these tumors. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Sargon Bebla to get a full workup, including ultrasounds, MRI and X-ray for diagnosis.
Treatments for uterine fibroids in Modesto, California
Sometimes, prescribing low-dose birth control stops fibroids from growing and controls heavy bleeding. Surgery may be required if you’re experiencing moderate or severe symptoms. Options include a myomectomy, which involves removing only the fibroids, and a hysterectomy, which involves removing the entire uterus and sometimes surrounding structures.*
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee