I’m sure that many of you have heard about fibroids either from friends, family, co-workers and even in popular media. Perhaps even your own experiences. What you should know is that they are very common in women and although they are rarely cancerous, they can sometimes cause problems and may need to be treated.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous (benign) tumors that can range is size from a small seed to the size of a grapefruit. They are very common in women of childbearing age. Why some women get them and what causes them to grow is unknown but may be related to hormone levels.
Most fibroids do not any exhibit symptoms, but some can result in painful, long and heavy periods, pain with sexual intercourse, feeling of fullness and pressure in the lower stomach or frequent urination.
Fibroids can be detected during your regular annual pelvic examination by your health care provider and diagnosis is confirmed by a pelvic ultrasound. Treatment options range from observation and monitoring, medical management with hormonal medications, intrauterine devices, UFE and surgery. The choice is individualized and best discussed with your doctor.
I am a huge proponent of lifestyle changes and preventative measures by choosing other healthy options:
- Healthy diet and moderate exercise
- 20-30 minutes three times a week (e.g. walking with light weights)
- Increase water intake 56-64 ounces per day
- Increase fresh fruits and vegetables
- Decrease processed foods and those with high fat and sugar content
- Take a good multivitamin daily
- Try heating pad or warm soaks for mild period cramping
- Use an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication as directed on the bottle 1-2 days before your period if predictable
- Notify your physician of any change in your symptoms
Together with your healthcare professional you can participate in determining the best plan of care for your health and wellbeing.
Submitted by: Dr. O’s friend and Cornell Graduate,
Mironda D. Williams, MD, FACOG
Peachtree City OB/GYN, PC