Uterine fibroids are very common, affecting as many as 80% of women at some point in their lives. While not all fibroids cause symptoms, the care of a great OB/GYN like William Garcia, MD, in Vienna, Virginia, can help women find relief from fibroids concerns. To learn more, schedule a comprehensive exam with Dr. Garcia today. Online scheduling makes it easy to find a time that fits your busy life, or you can always call to check availability.
Uterine fibroids are benign growths that develop in the wall of your uterus. These growths are not cancerous, and having fibroids does not increase your risk of cancer. Uterine fibroids are also called leiomyoma or myoma.
Fibroids can be as large as a grapefruit or as small as an apple seed. You might have just one fibroid or many. Typically, women are completely unaware they have fibroids. For some, however, symptoms are uncomfortable and disruptive to their normal daily routines.
Not all fibroids cause symptoms, but when symptoms are present, they might include a combination of:
Little is known about the causes of uterine fibroids, although it appears that genetics play a role as well as hormonal balance. Doctors believe fibroids develop from a stem cell located in the muscular tissue of your uterine wall. That stem cell may trigger unnecessary cell division, eventually creating a large, firm mass of tissue that serves no function and can cause symptoms.
If Dr. Garcia determines that fibroids are causing your symptoms, he will work with you to create a customized treatment plan. There are medications that can control pain and alter your hormonal balance, which can slow fibroid growth. Some drugs also reduce heavy menstrual bleeding or shrink existing fibroids.
Minimally invasive surgery is often the best way to treat uterine fibroids, although there are cases where a traditional open procedure is required. Myomectomy removes fibroid tissue without harming your uterus or other reproductive organs. Endometrial ablation is another option and works by removing much of the lining inside your uterus.
Uterine fibroid embolization is an approach that introduces tiny gel or plastic particles into the blood vessels that supply the fibroids. Once that blood supply is impeded, the fibroids cannot thrive and will shrink.
In extreme cases, a hysterectomy, or the surgical removal of your uterus, is the only way to stop further fibroids from developing. Hysterectomy is only pursued when less invasive options have proven ineffective.
If you have questions or concerns, schedule a visit with Dr. Garcia. You can try the simple online scheduling function, or reach the office by phone to book your appointment.