Uterine fibroids are muscular growths that form along the wall of a woman’s uterus. These tumors are almost always noncancerous or benign. Medically, uterine fibroids are known as leiomyoma or simply “myoma”. Just one fibroid can exist or many can grow in the uterus.
Some women experience symptoms of uterine fibroids, while others have no symptoms at all.
A few of the symptoms of uterine fibroids can include:
- Heavy bleeding or painful periods
- A ‘full’ feeling in the lower stomach area
- An enlarged lower abdomen
- Frequent need to urinate
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Lower back pain
- Pregnancy and labor complications
- The rare risk of infertility or other reproductive issues
The age at which most women develop uterine fibroids is in their 40s and 50s. Age, family history of fibroids, hormonal levels, ethnic origin, obesity, and eating habits all play a role in the development of uterine fibroids. Physicians are not sure as to what actually causes uterine fibroids, though scientific and clinical research points to the following possible causes of uterine fibroids:
- Genetic changes
- Hormone levels
- Growth factors
Fibroids in the uterus have been shown to contain genes that are different from the genes in normal uterine muscular cells.
Hormones, estrogen and progesterone, stimulate the uterine lining development during a woman’s menstrual cycle to ready the body for pregnancy. This may encourage the growth of fibroids, as these cells have been shown to have more estrogen and progesterone than non-fibroid uterine cells contain.
An insulin-like growth factor that helps maintain bodily tissues may affect the growth of fibroids, too. Early onset of puberty may also be a factor in causing these fibroids.
There are four types of uterine fibroids: intramural, subserosal, pedunculated, and submucosal fibroids. Some form in the uterine lining, while other types grow outwards to cause bladder pressure, resulting in a frequent urge to urinate. Intramural fibroids appear in the uterine muscular wall, while pedunculated fibroids attach themselves either outside or inside the uterus.
If you are experiencing symptoms of uterine fibroids, Dr. Amish Tilara at the Atlanta Vascular and Vein Center can diagnose this condition by either MRI or ultrasound testing. Using a minimally invasive, non-surgical technique called embolization, Dr. Tilara can treat this condition by shrinking and destroying uterine fibroids via an elimination of the blood supply to these growths. Patients who undergo this out-patient procedure at the Atlanta Vascular and Vein Center experience nearly 100% relief of their symptoms within a short period of time.
Dr. Tilara’s office is located in Lawrenceville, GA, but he also serves the surrounding areas such as Duluth, Dacula, Buford, Grayson, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville, and Suwanee.
This article is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice. Please be sure to make an appointment with Dr. Tilara or an M.D. in your area if you have a concern.
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