Uterine fibroids are a common women’s health issue, potentially affecting up to 80% of women. At Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates in Northbrook, Illinois, Steven Valfer, MD, and Regan Valfer, MD, diagnose fibroids and offer customized conservative and surgical treatment plans to relieve your symptoms and restore your health. If you’re concerned about fibroids or have pelvic pain or heavy periods, call Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates or schedule a consultation online today.
Fibroids, clinically referred to as leiomyoma or myoma, are tumors that grow in or on the walls of your uterus. The growths are almost never cancerous but can cause disruptive symptoms or interfere with your fertility.
Fibroids are highly variable. You might have one or several fibroids. They also vary in size from as small as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit, and in some cases, even larger.
Physicians and medical researchers don’t fully understand the causes of fibroids, although they believe your hormones and family medical history influence your risk.
Many women have fibroids but don’t have any symptoms.
However, depending on the size and location of your growth(s), you might experience symptoms, including:
You should make an appointment at Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates if you have pain or bleeding that disrupts your life. Mild cramping and discomfort may be common around your period, but if your pain is so severe that you can’t go to school or work, it may be a sign of a potential health issue.
At Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates, your doctor performs a thorough exam and diagnostic testing to determine if fibroids are the root cause of your symptoms. They begin by reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle factors.
Your physician completes a pelvic exam, feeling for abnormal growths. They may also use an ultrasound or a sonohysterogram to more fully evaluate the size and location of your uterine fibroids.
After your exam and diagnosis are complete, your doctor creates a customized treatment plan to address your needs. They have a detailed discussion with you to ensure your program is tailored to your concerns, whether you have anemia from heavy bleeding or are trying to get pregnant.
If your fibroids aren’t interfering with your health or quality of life, your doctor might recommend close observation. You might need routine screening appointments so your physician can check to see if your fibroids have increased in size or number.
Your physician might prescribe medication, such as birth control or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, to manage your fibroid symptoms. In some cases, over-the-counter painkillers can relieve your discomfort. Your doctor might recommend an iron supplement if you have anemia.
In severe cases, the doctors at Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates offer a surgical procedure, known as a myomectomy, to remove the fibroids. They use minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques whenever possible to minimize surgery-related risks.
If you’re concerned about fibroids, call Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates or make an appointment online today.