Uterine fibroids can be present without a woman ever experiencing symptoms. There are a number of different symptoms that can indicate uterine fibroids are present, and these range in severity and discomfort. It is important to know what to look for and what your options are so uterine fibroids don’t impact your life. In this article, Dr. Abadir speaks about the early signs of uterine fibroids.
What are the Early Signs of Uterine Fibroids?
The earliest signs of uterine fibroids experienced by most women are a slight prolongation of the menstrual period or perhaps some increased bleeding during the menstrual period. Some women may also develop increasing menstrual cramps, which may or may not be significant at the earliest outset.
When Should You Be Concerned If You Have Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids, in general, are benign tumors of the uterus that are not dangerous, not precancerous, and do not spread to any other part of the body. They can, however, cause local symptoms such as increased bleeding or pain during the menstrual cycle. The increased bleeding can be quite profound sometimes, and women can even get anemic from this, requiring transfusions or iron therapy.
At What Size Should Uterine Fibroids Be Removed?
Uterine fibroids can range in size from a pea up to a grapefruit. If fibroids grow large enough to push on the spine, bladder, or other adjacent organs, they should be removed, even though there is no specific size that requires treatment. Uterine fibroids, additionally, can cause symptoms even when they’re small. These symptoms can include profound bleeding or cramping pain during the menstrual cycle.
You have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids; now what?
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors. If they are causing no symptoms, you can live with them for the rest of your life and have no problems. However, once they become symptomatic, such as causing increased bleeding or pain, then you may desire to pursue treatment. There are no size criteria for treatment. It’s really on the basis of symptoms. When symptoms begin, you should consider your options. When they are more moderate in size and don’t require removal, there are many non-invasive options that are available to you.
Uterine Fibroid Frequently Ask Questions
Dr. Abadir answers some frequently asked questions below to help patients understand more uterine fibroid symptoms and causes.
Why Do Fibroids Cause Heavy Periods?
The uterus has three layers. One is the endometrium, which comes off every month during a menstrual cycle, then there’s a thick muscular layer, and then there’s an outer lining. Uterine fibroids can exist in several different layers of the uterus. Fibroids that are close to, or pushing out against, the inside layer of the endometrium result in abnormal blood vessels being present in that layer. When those blood vessels get exposed during the menstrual cycle, excess bleeding can occur.
Can Fibroids Stop Your Period?
Uterine fibroids tend to aggravate your menstrual cycle, causing increased pain and bleeding. They also may result in the irregularity of the menstrual cycle, where some women may skip a month and then have profuse bleeding the next month. Rarely would they cause your menstrual cycle to stop completely.
Can a Hormone Imbalance Cause Uterine Fibroids?
Many studies have shown that fibroids have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone on their cells, and they do grow in response to the presence of estrogen. This can be seen very clearly as fibroids tend to grow during pregnancy. Anything that results in an excess of estrogen in your body, such as taking hormone replacement therapy can also cause uterine fibroids to grow.
Do large fibroids go away on their own?
Before women hit menopause, fibroids tend to stay or grow due to the presence of estrogen. They very rarely regress on their own as they are sensitive to the effects of estrogen. After menopause, fibroids may shrink, though they rarely disappear completely.
Request a Consultation with Dr. Abadir
Request a consultation today with Dr. Abadir at Fishkill Endovascular if you have signs of uterine fibroids. You can also request a consultation with one of our other vascular specialists at our affiliated vascular centers today!