Fibroid Awareness Week is 4/18 – 4/24 of 2023. What better time than now to discuss fibroids? About 20 percent to 80 percent of women develop them by the time they reach age 50. With that covering a broad range of women, you may be asking yourself “What are fibroids?”
Fibroids, also known as uterine fibroids or leiomyomas, are noncancerous growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. They can vary in size and number and may be located inside the uterus, outside the uterus, or within the wall of the uterus.
Fibroids are most common in women of reproductive age. The exact cause is not known, but they are thought to be related to hormonal or genetic factors. They can cause a range of symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged periods, pelvic pain, frequent urination, constipation, and infertility.
When To Contact Your Doctor?
You should request an appointment with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing the following:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Heavy, prolonged, or painful periods
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
- Unexplained low red blood cell count (anemia)
Treatment may include medication to manage symptoms, or surgery to remove the fibroids or the entire uterus. Each case can be different. Some fibroids may not require any treatment at all. Your doctor can help determine the best course of action based on your circumstances.