Fibroids are common and affect anywhere from 20-80% of adult women at some point in their lives, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. They are most common between the ages of 30 and 50 but can develop earlier.
Fibroids can be painful and disruptive, or they may present little to no symptoms at all. Whether they require treatment depends on factors like the size of the fibroids and the symptoms.
Do fibroids go away on their own?
Fibroids can shrink or grow larger over time. For example, fibroids can develop or grow larger during pregnancy due to increased hormone production in the body. After menopause, lower hormone production can make the fibroids shrink. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, some people don’t experience symptoms, or symptoms mild enough that they don’t require treatment.
Signs and symptoms of fibroids
Fibroid symptoms can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:
- Heavier than normal bleeding during period
- Periods that last longer than a week
- Painful periods
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sex
Fibroids can also affect fertility and increase the risk of pregnancy complications.
Fibroid symptoms can overlap with other conditions. Give us a call and schedule an appointment if you develop pain or new symptoms.
What causes fibroids?
Higher estrogen levels can spur fibroid growth, but the exact cause is unknown. Health and lifestyle factors, like family history, weight challenges, smoking, and high blood pressure, can potentially increase the risk of developing fibroids in some people.
Race is also a factor, and fibroids are more common in Black women.
How are fibroids treated?
Treatment isn’t always necessary for fibroids. Every case is different, and there are several treatment options available. Hormonal birth control pills and IUDs (intrauterine devices) are prescribed to help control fibroid growth.
In significant cases, fibroids can be removed with minimally invasive surgery.
If you’re pregnant or plan to get pregnant and have fibroids, our OB/GYN team will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan.
For more information about fibroids and when to seek treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist at our office in Houston. Our team is helpful and caring. We look forward to seeing you!