Uterine fibroids are a common condition that affects many women and can cause painful symptoms as well as complications during pregnancy. Dr. Ron Clisham provides treatment for long-term management or surgical removal of painful uterine fibroids at his New Orleans, LA, clinic. Whether you are worried about potential issues during pregnancy or are looking for pain relief, our team can help you find the best treatment option for your situation.
Background on the Condition
Uterine fibroids or leiomyoma are benign tumors that grow in the muscular walls of the uterus These noncancerous growths are extremely common: three out of four women of child bearing age have uterine fibroids, a number which jumps to 80 percent by age 50. But because these growths typically have no symptoms, most women never know they have them.
Why uterine fibroids develop is still unknown, but as an organ tied to growth and development, the uterus is a prime site for tumor growth. There are many factors believed to be involved. Genetics play a big role: women with family members who have had uterine fibroids are much more likely to develop them, as well. Fluctuations in hormones that play a role in endometrial growth, such as estrogen and progesterone, are also likely culprits.
Risks and Symptoms
While there is a small risk that fibroids may become cancerous, it is much more likely to complicate a patient’s pregnancy. Increased hormone production from the pregnancy may trigger considerable fibroid growth. Fibroids may result in a breech presentation of the fetus at delivery contributing to the need for a cesarean section. In some cases, fibroids may cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall, causing fetal distress prompting early delivery.
Patients can take advantage of a multitude of tools for long-term uterine fibroid management: IUDs, oral contraceptives, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other medications.
Fibroids are usually easy to diagnose. Irregularities in the uterus found during a pelvic exam can be confirmed with an ultrasound or an MRI. After determining that a patient has uterine fibroids and that treatment is required, Dr. Clisham may recommend a number of options.
Because surgery carries risks and because fibroids only rarely cause serious health problems, he will suggest non-surgical alternatives whenever possible. Patients can take advantage of a multitude of tools for long-term management: IUDs, oral contraceptives, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other medications. If surgery is necessary, Dr. Clisham can perform both traditional and laparoscopic fibroid removal.
However, in most cases, fibroids require no treatment. Many women experience only minimal limitations from fibroids, at worst. In fact, fibroids often shrink after menopause. For that reason, conservative management is often recommended.
Reach Out Today
With a personalized, hands-on approach, Dr. Clisham and his staff offer patients individualized, compassionate treatment. If you are concerned that you may have uterine fibroids, contact us today to set up an appointment and determine the right course of action for your needs.