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Myths and Facts About Uterine Fibroids

Myths and Facts About Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids affect as many as half of all women by the time they turn 50. Despite how common they are, there are still a lot of misconceptions about uterine fibroids, and noncancerous growths that form in or on your uterus. 

While they don’t always cause symptoms, the symptomatic fibroids can wreak havoc on your well-being. They may cause painful, heavy periods, backaches, constipation, pelvic discomfort, and a whole lot of stress δΈ€ especially if they’re affecting your fertility. 

As a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Essam Taymour knows how fibroid treatment can restore your quality of life, but the first step in getting treatment is recognizing the signs of fibroids and asking for help.

 

Here are six myths and facts about uterine fibroids, courtesy of the team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group in Long Beach, California. 

Myth 1: Only older women get uterine fibroids

Fact: While uterine fibroids are more common in women 30 and older, they can develop at any point throughout your reproductive years. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, about 26 million women between the ages of 15 and 50 have uterine fibroids. 

Factors such as genetics, hormonal fluctuations, and environmental exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals contribute to their development. 

Myth 2: Fibroids always cause noticeable symptoms

Fact: Not necessarily! In some cases, fibroids are small and go unnoticed. However, when symptoms do arise, they can include heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, frequent urination, and discomfort during intercourse. 

You might even confuse your fibroid symptoms with another condition. Depending on the size of your fibroid, it can cause constipation. If your fibroid presses on a nerve, you might experience back pain or even leg pain.

If you notice unusual symptoms, it’s always good practice to get a diagnosis to confirm exactly what’s causing them. 

Myth 3: Uterine fibroids lead to infertility

Fact: While fibroids can impact fertility in some cases, not all women with fibroids struggle with conception. The location and size of the fibroids play a crucial role in their effect on fertility. Some women with fibroids have successful pregnancies without complications, while others may face challenges. 

If your fibroid is blocking your fallopian tubes (where conception occurs) or is limiting a fertilized egg’s ability to implant in your uterus, you may benefit from fibroid treatment. With the fibroid out of the picture, you may have an easier time conceiving. 

Myth 4: Surgery is your only option

Fact: Surgery, such as a hysterectomy or myomectomy, is one treatment option for uterine fibroids, particularly in severe cases. However, various nonsurgical approaches exist, depending on the size and location of the fibroids.

Medications, hormonal therapies, and minimally invasive procedures like ablation offer alternative choices that preserve the uterus and may be suitable for certain patients.

At Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group, Dr. Taymour offers transcervical fibroid ablation (TFA) via the Sonata Treatment. Radiofrequency energy delivered through a handpiece in the vagina shrinks your fibroid over time. This is an incisionless procedure that only takes about an hour. Many women see a reduction in heavy menstrual flow in about three months as the fibroids shrinks. 

Myth 5: Fibroids keep growing until you treat them

Fact: Fibroids can exhibit different growth patterns. While some fibroids may increase in size over time, others remain stable or even shrink. Hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, and lifestyle changes can influence the growth of uterine fibroids. 

Regular monitoring through medical examinations and imaging studies helps Dr. Taymour determine your best treatment plan.

Myth 6: Lifestyle changes don’t help

Fact: In addition to medical intervention, such as the Sonata treatment, lifestyle modifications can help with fibroid symptoms and help lower your risk of future fibroids. This includes:

Uterine fibroids are notorious for causing pain, heavy periods, and even leg pain (if it presses on your sciatic nerve), but you don’t have to deal with fibroids in silence. Dr. Taymour can confirm that fibroids are the source of your symptoms and create your treatment plan. 

Ready to learn more about your options? Schedule your appointment today. You can request an appointment online or simply give us a call at 562-595-5331.

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