Are you experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding? Uterine fibroids could be the cause. These noncancerous tumors affect about 35 million American women and grow in your uterus. They can range dramatically, from teeny tiny to quite large, and the symptoms they cause.
Many women look for pelvic pain as an indicator of fibroids. However, fibroids can cause various symptoms, like heavy menstrual bleeding or urinary incontinence, and sometimes they don’t cause any problems at all. For approximately 20% of women with fibroids, however, fibroids’ problematic symptoms require medical care.
Board-certified radiologist Dr. Andrew Doe specializes in diagnosing and treating uterine fibroids at their practice, Alate Health, in Houston, Texas. He knows that the first step in getting treatment is understanding the signs that something may be wrong.
Our team produced this guide to help you better understand the signs of uterine fibroids and what you can do about them. Read on to learn more!
How do I know if I have fibroids?
An evaluation with a trained specialist is the best way to determine if fibroids could be causing any symptoms you’re experiencing. Pelvic pain isn’t the only symptom, and people experience different fibroid symptoms.
The symptoms you can experience from fibroids can be different depending on the number of fibroids you have, their size, and their position within the uterus. While a medical evaluation is crucial, there are things to look for. Some of the more common symptoms of fibroids include:
- Heavy bleeding
- Passing large blood clots (both during and between your periods)
- Menstruation lasting longer than a week
- Increased or extreme menstrual cramping
- Lower back pain
- Frequent urination or frequent urge to urinate
- Trouble emptying your bladder
- Feeling pressure or noticing swelling in the lower abdomen
- Pain during intercourse
How are fibroids diagnosed?
Your provider at Alate Health evaluates your medical history and current gynecological symptoms using a pelvic exam to diagnose fibroids. They may also take blood samples to check your hormone levels.
Your provider at Alate Health may also use an ultrasound or other diagnostic imaging technology to view your uterus and any fibroids. In some cases, more in-depth imaging, like a hysteroscopy to explore the inside of your uterus and they take biopsies, may be necessary.
Can fibroids be treated?
At Alate Health, we create a customized treatment plan to meet your unique needs. Depending on your symptoms, the size and position of your fibroids, and whether those fibroids present any risks to your health and wellbeing, there are different treatment options.
Our doctors specialize in uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) at Alate Health, a minimally invasive way to safely and effectively shrink uterine fibroids, giving you relief from troublesome symptoms.
UFE reduces or eliminates the blood supply uterine fibroids rely on to grow. Dr. Doe uses imaging technology to target the right blood vessels and ensure the surrounding tissue remains healthy and safe.
The procedure takes 90 minutes or less and involves a tiny incision in your groin. Your provider inserts a very small catheter into the targeted blood vessel and releases microscopic particles called embolic agents into your arteries to block blood flow to the fibroids, leading to the tissues shrinking and dying.
Ready to learn more about the symptoms of uterine fibroids and the treatment options available? Contact the specialists at Alate Health or schedule a consultation by calling 713-893-0650 today!