What are fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are lumps that grow on your uterus. You can have fibroids on the inside, outside, or in the wall of your uterus.
Your doctor may call them fibroid tumors, leiomyomas, or myomas. But fibroids are not cancer. You do not need to do anything about them unless they are causing problems.
Fibroids are very common in women in their 30s and 40s. But fibroids usually do not cause problems. Many women never even know they have them.
Doctors are not sure what causes fibroids. But the female hormones estrogen and progesterone seem to make them grow. Your body makes the highest levels of these hormones during the years when you have periods.
Your body makes less of these hormones after you stop having periods (menopause). Fibroids usually shrink after menopause and stop causing symptoms.
Often fibroids do not cause symptoms. Or the symptoms may be mild, like periods that are a little heavier than normal. If the fibroids bleed or press on your organs, the symptoms may make it hard for you to enjoy life.
How can fibroids be treated?
If your fibroids are not bothering you, you do not need to do anything about them. Your doctor will check them during your regular visits to see if they have gotten bigger.
If you are near menopause, you might try medicines to treat your symptoms. Heavy periods and many symptoms of fibroids stop after menopause.
There are a number of other ways to treat fibroids.
If heavy periods are the main symptom, treatments like birth control pills, a progestin IUD, or an ablation may help.
If pressure or pain is a significant problem, then there are several procedures or surgeries that may help. Removing the fibroids is called myomectomy and can be done either through the vagina or small incisions in the belly, depending on where the fibroids are located.
A new treatment called Acessa is also available. Dr Swartz was the first doctor in New Mexico to offer this therapy. She has attended Master Surgeon training and helps other doctors learn the procedure.
Acessa uses radiofrequency energy to cut off the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and usually reduces heavy periods and many of the other symptoms associated with fibroids like bloating, pelvic pain, urinary frequency, and constipation. It is done through small incisions in the belly (laparoscopy) and requires a visit to the hospital for outpatient surgery.
Another treatment is called uterine fibroid embolization. This can shrink fibroids and does not require surgery, but not all women are good candidates.
The most effective option is hysterectomy (removing the uterus). This can be a big step, and is not an option for some women, especially if they desire to have pregnancies in the future.
Any surgery or procedure where the uterus is left in place means new fibroids may grow and you may need more procedures in the future.
Which option is better for you depends on your age, how big your fibroids are, where they are, and whether you want to have children.
Our research department also often is enrolling patients for new treatments for fibroids. These are studies approved by the FDA to look at new options for women to treat fibroid and the symptoms women experience.
Bosque Women's Care is pleased to offer more options for the treatment of fibroids than any other provider in New Mexico and the region.
Treatment has become simpler than ever before. Our personalized Birth Control Treatment provide patients with the resources they need to get their health on track — you’ll leave our clinic well informed and confident that your health is in good hands. Get in touch and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.