Fibroid Uterus: What are Fibroids?

Gynecological dysfunctions are an unfortunate part of many women’s lives; but at Coyle Institute, it’s our mission to provide the very best care for a wide range of those life-limiting conditions, including pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, as well as gynecological issues such as endometriosis and fibroids.

Fibroid Uterus Symptoms

Though the word tumor is often associated in people’s minds with a cancerous growth, the tumors called fibroids are usually non-cancerous or benign muscular growths which occur in the uterus. While the problem is quite common, however, not all women with a fibroid uterus are aware of the fact and may actually never experience symptoms that might alert them to their existence. Fibroid uterus symptoms that do occur, however, make the condition quite difficult to endure because of the degree of severity with which they present themselves.

The most commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Pain in the lower back due to the pressure associated with the growth of polyps in uterus
  • Pelvic pain, such as intense pain in the rectum or bladder
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Increased frequency of urination, caused by the increased amount of pressure that enlarged tumors often place on the bladder
  • Enlarged lower abdomen or an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, which may happen if the tumors become very sizable
  • Complications during pregnancy and labor, which often results in the necessity of delivery by cesarean
  • Heavy bleeding, which generally causes increased cramping during menstrual cycles and may result in anemia
  • Infertility or other reproductive complications

Fibroid Uterus Complications

Unfortunately, there are no definitive explanations for what causes fibroids, but it is generally linked to two main factors which seem to affect the likelihood of their development. Genetics seems to play a direct role in many cases, while in others, hormones. Whatever the case may be, once the tumors are present, their actual growth is controlled by hormonal fluctuations in both estrogen and progesterone.

At Coyle Institute, we want to relieve our patients of their fibroid pain and other related difficulties. As a team led by Dr. Michael Coyle, we specialize in diagnosing and treating fibroid uterus complications; and because we are a practice so dedicated to the women in our care, we maintain standards of excellence that have gained national recognition. In fact, as the nation’s first board-certified urogynecologist, Dr. Coyle holds a unique amount of expertise in both urological and gynecological issues; and combined with his superior surgical skills, patients at Coyle Institute can rest assured that they are being given the highest care available.

Dependent on the type, size, and location of the fibroids, treatment options vary for each patient; and at Coyle Institute, we offer the women in our care the most technologically and medically advanced options available. Before a treatment plan is considered, we will perform diagnostic testing to visually identify the tumors or conduct minimally invasive surgery to explore the uterus.

Diagnostic testing may include:

  • Ultrasounds
  • MRI
  • CAT Scan
  • Hysterosalpingogram or sonohysterogram
  • X-ray

To make a more precise diagnosis, however, the scopes used during laparoscopic surgery or a hysteroscopy might be the most beneficial of all test procedures.

Fibroid Uterus: Treating Means Depleting

Non-invasive treatment options for fibroid tumors include oral hormonal birth control medications, injections of hormonal birth control drugs, or the insertion of a hormonal IUD; hormone agonists which interrupt the production of hormones; over the counter pain medications to relieve fibroid pain; and iron supplements to elevate the blood count and reverse anemia.

Surgery, while much more an intense method of treatment, might also be the only truly viable option.

Most commonly, surgeries to treat fibroids include:

  • Myomectomy to remove the tumor itself without having to remove the uterus
  • Hysterectomy to remove the uterus in its entirety, which is also the one and only way to cure fibroids and prevent them from recurring
  • Endometrial ablation to remove or destroy the lining of the uterus and potentially destroy the fibroids
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) to cut off the blood supply to the fibroids and prevent them from growing

Whatever the situation may be, women suffering from fibroids should be made aware that there are ways to treat and manage the condition. Above all else, at Coyle Institute, we want our patients to be given the chance to live happy, healthy lives free from pain. Give us a call today!