The Office on Women's Health estimates that up to 80 percent of women have uterine fibroids by the time they reach the age of 50. They are growths on or around the uterus that can become larger and more prevalent, especially in women who are in their reproductive years and menstruating. Get a better understanding of uterine fibroids, and what can cause fibroids in women when you visit a women’s health professional at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
A fibroid is a usually benign muscular tumor that forms on the wall of the uterus. They are classified as submucosal (in the cavity of the uterus), intramural (within the uterus), and subserosal (outside the walls of the uterus). Fibroids are the reason why some women have bloated or larger bellies as they get older. Patients can have one or several fibroids of different sizes, and some can grow as large as a fist. Though fibroids are generally benign, they can cause discomfort and heavy bleeding when a woman is menstruating. They can also cause incontinence and pain in the lower back.
What Causes Fibroids?
While there is no definitive reason why fibroids form, there are a few possible contributing factors to consider:
- Many cases are genetic—it’s common for women in the same family, from different generations, to develop them.
- Hormonal imbalances may contribute to the development uterine fibroids.
- Diet, nutrition, and obesity may have an impact on fibroid formation.
Treatments for Fibroids
Fibroids can be treated by your Woodbridge, VA women’s health specialist in a number of ways. The treatment plan will depend on where the fibroid is located, its size, your symptoms, your age, and your desire to become pregnant in the future. These are some potential solutions:
- Medication to relieve pain, especially during periods of menstruation.
- Birth control to calm heavy bleeding or similar hormonal drugs.
- Surgical removal of fibroids (called a myomectomy) or removal of the uterine lining (endometrial ablation).
- A procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization, which deprives fibroids of their blood supply.
See a Women’s Health Doctor
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, a women’s health doctor will be able to evaluate and treat your case of uterine fibroids. Call the office today at (703) 494-4116 to set a time for your upcoming visit with Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb.