Are you suffering from uterine fibroids? These noncancerous growths, developed from the muscle tissue of the uterus, are most common in women ages 30-40, especially of African American descent, but could still occur at any age, in women of any nationality. Uterine fibroids vary in size, shape and location; they could be found inside the uterus, on the outside, within the uterine wall, or attached to it. Some women may only have one, and some may have multiple in varying shapes and sizes. They could start off small and increase in size at a fast pace, or grow much more slowly over a prolonged period of time.

Fibroids can cause a variety of symptoms in women, such as changes in their menstrual cycle including longer or more frequent, heavier periods, increased pain and cramps, vaginal bleeding not during menstruation, and anemia from this additional blood loss. Fibroids can also cause pain in the abdomen or lower back, pain during sexual intercourse, difficulty urinating or frequent urination, constipation, rectal pain or difficult bowel movements, abdominal cramps from an enlarged uterus and abdomen, and miscarriages — or fibroids may cause absolutely no symptoms at all. Fibroids could also cause infertility; however, other causes are more common, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider and consider other factors before settling. If fibroids are the culprit, most women are able to become pregnant after they have been treated.

As you can see, uterine fibroids have a mind of their own, which can make them a bit scary for women who have found out they have them through a routine pelvic exam, or perhaps through testing for another condition. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Plantation, helps to make her patients feel at ease as they learn how to manage their uterine fibroids. She offers her best women’s health tips on how to treat these growths and the symptoms they cause.

Not all women with fibroids need treatment. For example, those who are in the clear include women who do not experience symptoms, those who only experience minor symptoms, or those who are closing in on menopause. Treatment is needed for women who experience heavy or painful menstrual periods that cause anemia or that disrupt a woman’s normal activities, bleeding between periods, uncertainty about whether the growth is a fibroid or another type of tumor, rapid increase in growth of the fibroid, infertility, or pelvic pain.

Treatment varies and can include things like drug therapy such as birth control pills or another type of hormonal control method to control heavy bleeding and painful periods, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists to stop the menstrual cycle and shrink fibroids to reduce the risk of bleeding during surgery, or a progestin-release intrauterine device, which reduces heavy and painful bleeding, but does not actually treat the fibroids; it’s used for women who have fibroids that do not distort the inside of the uterus.

Surgeries, such as a myomectomy or hysterectomy, are also treatment options. A myomectomy removes the fibroids while leaving the uterus in place, which allows the woman to still potentially have children. While fibroids cannot regrow after surgery, new growths can occur, and more surgery may be needed. On the flipside, a hysterectomy actually involves removal of the woman’s uterus, which would mean the woman would not be able to have children post-surgery. This procedure is done as a last resort if other treatments haven’t worked, or the fibroids grow too large.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding area, Dr. Ghea is able to provide help and treatment to her patients who suffer from uterine fibroids. She is a top choice when it comes to Fort Lauderdale obstetricians, and always makes sure her patients feel comfortable when they visit her office. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn group, make an appointment with Dr. Ghea at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or making a request online.

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