Educating the community on fibroids and fibroid treatment is our main goal as healthcare provider. When you’re first diagnosed with uterine fibroids, it can be confusing to search the web and find conflicting answers. Here we have the most common fibroid myths our doctors and staff continue to hear when first-time patients come into our clinic. Which fibroid fibs did you already know, and what surprised you?
Myth #1: All women experience symptoms
Some women do not experience uncomfortable symptoms at all! Asymptomatic fibroids are difficult to detect and often go undiagnosed for years. It’s important to visit a fibroid specialist who will use ultrasound technology to locate the fibroids. Once located, they can be treated non-surgically with procedures like uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), which can diminish unpredictable, and often painful, symptoms such as excessive bleeding, frequent urination, pelvic or back pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, loss of sleep, etc.
Myth #2: Hysterectomy is your only option
Many women are given two options: hysterectomy or myomectomy. Surgery is not the only option in regards to fibroid treatment. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that offers no scarring, no hospital stay, no general anesthesia, and a short recovery period! Also, hysterectomies tend to interfere with your body’s hormonal balances, which could mean taking replacements for years after surgery.
Myth #3: Fibroids are cancerous
Uterine fibroids are one of the most common forms of benign tumors that affect millions of women in their child bearing age. Statistics show that less than 1 in 1000 cases of uterine fibroids become malignant. Cancerous fibroids grow much more rapidly than regular benign fibroids. Benign fibroids can range in size from a single growth to multiple growths, and from very small like a pea, to as large as a grapefruit. The medical name for fibroids is “leiomyoma” or “myoma”.
Myth #4: You don’t need your uterus if you’re going into menopause
Invasive surgeries that remove the uterus can interfere with your body’s hormonal balance causing all sorts of health issues. There are many potential risks hysterectomies can lead to such as: blood clots, Infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, damage to your urinary tract, bladder, rectum or other pelvic structures during surgery, which may require further surgical repair, and finally, earlier onset of menopause even if the ovaries aren’t removed. Just because you don’t want children, shouldn’t be an automatic decision to get a hysterectomy.
Myth #5: Fibroids only affect women in their 30s.
Women as young as 20 and as old as 60 can be affected by uterine fibroids! Fibroids usually develop with there is a change in estrogen levels; however, the actual cause is still unknown. They can show up at any age; it’s crucial to be in tune with your body and get checked even if you’re not experiencing symptoms.
Myth #6: “I’m having pelvic cramping / bloating / other symptoms, so it must be fibroids!”
It’s excellent to be in tune with your body and be aware of the indicators; however, just because you are experiencing fibroid symptoms does not mean you automatically have fibroids. It is crucial to visit an interventional radiologist who can determine if you indeed have fibroids or not.
Myth #7: Endometriosis and fibroids are the same condition.
Endometriosis: When the presence of tissue typically found in the uterus, is located outside of the uterus. These cells sometimes create endometrial tissue in areas where it doesn’t belong, like outside of the uterus in the bladder, fallopian tubes, or large intestine. Due to the fact that they don’t below their, the body reacts to this irregularity with cysts, inflammation, and discomfort.
Fibroids: Uterine fibroids are solid tumors containing smooth muscle fibers and connective tissue that develop within the uterine walls.
Myth #8: Invasive surgeries work best compared to non-surgical ones
According to Dr. James Spies MD MPH, Professor, Chairman and Chief of Service of the Department of Radiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, the success rate for UFE is considerable. Although it depends on the individual situation, between 85 and 90 percent of women who underwent UFE, will have substantially improved menstruation about three months post-procedure. When it comes to other symptoms, they usually improve even faster. Pressure, pain, discomfort, bloating, urinary frequency are often decreased or completely diminished within several weeks. About 90 percent of women overall by three to six months will have their symptoms improved significantly—meaning moderately improved to completely resolved.
If you have been diagnosed with fibroids, or are in need of a diagnosis, it’s important to choose a team of women’s health specialists and interventional radiologists that put your health above all else. Interested in learning more about minimally invasive fibroid treatment options? Visit our website www.usafibroidcenters.com or give us a call (855) 667-4247. Our patient scheduling coordinators can assist you with any further questions regarding fibroid symptoms, treatment, and recovery. All our procedures are covered by most major health insurance and some Medicaid plans. Don’t see your insurance listed on our page? No worries, call us directly to check!