Uterine fibroids are the most common gynecologic tumors, affecting an estimated 20-50% of women of reproductive age. While they don’t cause cancer, fibroids produce pain and heavy menstrual periods. The doctors at Naples Women’s Center have years of experience diagnosing and treating uterine fibroids. If you have symptoms, please schedule an appointment .
Frequently Asked Questions
Fibroids are growths that develop in smooth muscles in the wall of the uterus. Fibroids aren’t cancerous, and they don’t increase your risk for uterine cancer. They can be as small as a pea or grow as large as a small grapefruit, but only about one-third of them grow large enough to be detected during a physical examination. They may grow slowly, rapidly, or shrink on their own.
Uterine fibroids can affect your ability to get pregnant by interfering with the uterine lining’s ability to support a fertilized egg. They may also raise your risk for complications during pregnancy.
There’s no way to predict who might get uterine fibroids, but some factors can increase your risk:
- Older than 40 years
- African American heritage
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- Never pregnant
- Low levels of vitamin D
Many women don’t have any symptoms. When symptoms do exist, they range from mild to very severe:
- Abnormal bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
- Pain during intercourse
- Lower back pain
- Frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder
These symptoms may be a sign of many different gynecologic disorders that could be serious. If you have a family history of fibroids or you’ve been diagnosed with the condition, talk with your doctor at Naples Women’s Center about whether you should treat fibroids before getting pregnant.
Treatment is tailored to each individual woman, depending on her age, overall health, severity of symptoms, and the size and location of the fibroids. Whether you’re pregnant or would like to get pregnant in the future is also a critical part of treatment decisions. You and your doctor at Naples Women’s Center will work together to come up with the best treatment plan. A variety of medications are available to help relieve pain, reduce heavy periods, or help shrink fibroids. Referral for surgery to remove fibroids or the uterus is also an option.