Understanding Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms, Types, and Treatment
Uterine fibroids are the most common benign tumors in the uterus. They are made up of hormone-sensitive muscle and connective tissue and can vary in size, shape, and location. While fibroids often do not cause discomfort, they can cause symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pain, pressure in the lower abdomen, constipation, problems urinating, and possible difficulty getting pregnant, depending on their size and location.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about fibroids, including the types, causes, and symptoms. We will also cover the diagnosis and treatment of fibroids. We’ll also provide an overview of the Sonata treatment, a minimally invasive procedure that is becoming an increasingly popular option for treating fibroids.
Types of Fibroids
There are several types of fibroids, mainly distinguished by their location in the uterus:
- Submucous fibroids grow within the lining of the uterus and can particularly cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
- Intramural fibroids are located within the uterine wall.
- Subserous fibroids grow on the outside of the uterine wall.
- Transmural fibroids grow throughout the width of the uterine wall and is a combination of submucous, subserous, and intramural portions.
- Pedunculated fibroids hang from a small process or stalk on the outside or inside of the uterine wall.
Possible Risk Factors
Fibroids grow under the influence of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. While the exact causes of fibroids are not yet fully known, some factors can increase the risk of fibroids or promote their growth, such as:
- Exposure to estrogen levels for a longer period, for example, due to early onset of menstruation, late menopause, or hormone replacement therapy.
- Specific genes may increase the risk of developing fibroids.
- Black women have fibroids at younger ages and are likely to have more or larger fibroids
- High blood pressure
- Deficiency of Vitamin D
Fibroids can also occur without any of these risk factors being present, as the exact causes for the development of fibroids are not always clear.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Not all fibroids cause symptoms. Depending on the location and size of the fibroids, the following symptoms may occur:
- Menstrual disorders such as heavy and prolonged periods and interstitial bleeding
- Pain and feelings of pressure in the lower abdomen
- Constipation due to pressure on the intestines
- Problems urinating due to pressure on the bladder
- Possible problems getting pregnant
It is important to note that the symptoms associated with fibroids usually subside after menopause. Due to the lack of estrogen and progesterone, fibroids may even become smaller on their own.
Diagnosis of Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are usually diagnosed during a pelvic exam. Your doctor may also order an ultrasound or MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of Fibroids
The treatment of fibroids depends on various factors, such as symptoms, location, and size of the fibroids, as well as any desire to have children. The question of whether the uterus should be preserved, and other individual needs also play a role and should be taken into account when considering fibroid treatment options.
Important Safety Information The Sonata System is intended for diagnostic intrauterine imaging and transcervical treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids, including those associated with heavy menstrual bleeding. Common Side Effects include bleeding, spotting, cramping, post-ablation inflammatory symptoms, and/or discharge. There are potential risks with this treatment such as skin burn and infection. Women who are pregnant, have a pelvic infection, are known to have gynecologic cancer, or have intratubal implants for sterilization should not have this procedure. For full safety information visit, https://sonatatreatment.com/safety-information/. Talk to your doctor to see if Sonata Treatment is right for you.