10 Questions to ask your Doctor about Fibroid Treatment

discussing fibroid treatment

Discovering Fibroids

Many women have uterine fibroids and don’t know it. That’s because these non-cancerous tumors don’t always cause symptoms. If you aren’t aware you have them, it’s likely your physician will discover them during a routine pelvic exam.  How exactly? During the exam, your doctor will press down and around your uterus. If uterus abnormalities are suspected, they may predict fibroids and order more tests.

Preparing for Treatment

There are many tests and procedures that can determine
fibroids, their sizes, and location. Some tests may take a while and some require you to wait for a week after your menstrual period. While you wait or prior to your first appointment to discuss treatment options, you may agonize over what to expect and what questions to ask your doctor.  Arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible can help you feel confident that you’re going to make the best decision for you and your body. Since lists can help organize your thoughts, we’ve created a ten question guide to present to your physician when you’re ready to discuss uterine fibroid treatment options.

10 Questions

This list is far from all inclusive so you’ll likely have more questions for your gynecologists that are more tailored to your individual needs. But, this guide should get you started.

1. Do I Need Treatment?

Many women who have fibroids with absolutely no symptomswoman thinking usually don’t seek treatment. In contrast, many women experience symptoms so strong it affects their quality of life. Heavy and prolonged periods, pain during sex, pelvic and stomach pain, are fibroid symptoms that may affect your daily life and activities.  Your doctor should be able to advise you on all your options and let you know whether treatment is a good idea for you.  They will also tell you if your symptoms are fibroid-related. It’s possible to have fibroids and related symptoms yet the symptoms are caused by another ailment.

2. Why do I have fibroids and how did I get them?

Although fibroids are common among women, especially African Americans you may be surprised that you have them. The exact cause of fibroids is unknown. But most doctors believe fibroids come from an imbalance with the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. Some attribute fibroids to diet, lifestyle, genetics and even stress.

3. Are there other options besides surgery?

There are several treatment plans for fibroids. Although most are surgical, not all are invasive like a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy removes a woman’s uterus and she is unable to bear children. Another procedure is a myomectomy which removes the fibroids and if necessary rebuilds the uterine wall. This option means future pregnancy may be possible. But some women may need to have a hysterectomy or partial hysterectomy. This treatment option is usually for women who’ve already reached menopause or have larger fibroids. This is not something that most women want that are still in their childbearing years. So, inquiring about other options is always worth exploring with your doctor.

Surgery for Fibroids

Some other treatment options are hysteroscopy, laparoscopy and endometrial ablation.  Non-invasive options are MRI-guided focused ultrasound, Myolysis and Cryomyolysisis, Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and of course more natural solutions. Your doctor should be able to inform you of all the details or each procedure or treatment option and help you decide what is best for you.

4. What are the risks or surgery?

Every surgery comes with risks but surgeries to remove fibroids like a hysterectomy will make pregnancies not an option. For women who have not had children and want them, this is too large of a risk. Other risks may include bleeding and infection.

5. Will they grow back after surgery?

For procedures like a myomectomy, fibroids will not grow back, but you may develop new ones. Up to 33 percent of women will need to repeat this procedure because new fibroids have grown.

6. What should my diet be like?

Some doctors may recommend eating a diet that has plenty of Fibroid dietfresh cooked green vegetables, legumes, fresh fruit and fish. Research shows this diet also known as a Mediterranean diet will help lower your risk of fibroids. Also, keep n mind that red meat, beef, ham and lamb may increase your risk. Furthermore, it’s recommended to cut back on alcohol, increase your vitamin D intake and to not smoke.

7. How long is recovery after surgery?

The recovery time period for a hysterectomy is about six weeks. But every procedure does not have the same recovery time. Discussing recovery with your physician is beneficial as it helps you prepare not just your mind and body but also your personal life. Work and childcare arrangements, household duties, you will want to have everything arranged so you can effectively recuperate.

8. What is the best treatment option for me?

Once you are armed with information about various treatments and you’ve had a moment to think about your options and future goals, you and your doctor should discuss what treatment options they recommend and you’re willing to do.

9. Is it painful?

For surgical procedures, there will be anesthesia that will make you completely unconscious. It’s best to inform your doctor of any allergies and current medications at this time. But after the procedure, some pain is to be expected while recovering.

10. What will happen if I don’t seek treatment?

For women who have symptoms that inhibit their life, their symptoms will persist and possibly get worse until menopause. Also, fibroids can continue to grow and multiply. However, treatment is not necessary for everyone.

But, each woman is different so this question is still worth asking.

 

 

Why your Fibroids are Growing

Fibroid Growth can Concerning

What Are Fibroids

Just like the exact cause of fibroids, researches are not quite sure what causes them to grow. Yet most agree on likely causes. Fibroids, as we know, are usually benign tumors that grow in the muscular wall of the uterus. They can Some fibroids can be as small as peasrange in size. Some fibroids can be smaller than peas while others can be as large as a grapefruit.  They occur in many women during reproductive age. Symptoms are heavy and prolonged menstrual periods, pelvic pressure, frequent urination, constipation and leg or back pain. Some women may not experience any symptoms. While other women may get them confused with premenstrual syndrome, (PMS.) Growth and location are the main factors that contribute to common fibroid symptoms. But, the growth of fibroids is not always problematic. They become troublesome when they become large, cause painful symptoms or affect fertility. Continue reading “Why your Fibroids are Growing”

The Four Main Types of Fibroids

Fibroids

If you’re a woman and you’re reading this, chances are you have fibroids or know someone who does. In fact, between 20 and 80 percent of women will get uterine fibroids before the age of 50. This will usually happen during a woman’s childbearing years. But, the good news is that fibroids are almost always non-cancerous and can be treated. There are four main types of uterine fibroids. Size and location of a fibroid determine what type of fibroid it is.  

Continue reading “The Four Main Types of Fibroids”

The Truth About Hair Relaxers and the Link to Uterine Fibroids

Quick Fibroid Facts 

Do hair relaxers cause uterine fibroids? According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, it’s possible. But first, let’s start with the facts. What do we know about fibroids and what do we know about hair relaxers? Fibroids are tumors that are almost always benign, meaning non-cancerous. They develop in most women before the age of 50. Symptoms include, heavy and long lasting periods, pelvic pain,  frequent urination, constipation and back and leg pain.  But, a concrete cause of uterine fibroids is still unknown.  It’s even more unclear on why black women are more likely to get them. Yet, there are many plausible theories. In the last few years, hair relaxers and hair products targeted toward black women are under the microscope as a possible cause.

Continue reading “The Truth About Hair Relaxers and the Link to Uterine Fibroids”

New Research for Fibroid Treatments

Typical Treatments for Fibroids

Fibroids are common benign tumors that occur in women. Some studies say that between 20 to 70 percent of women will get them by age 50. While other studies state that between 80 to 90 percent of black women will get them by that same age. The non-cancerous tumors can be a painful problem while others may not experience any symptoms. But, the tumors receive little attention in comparison to some female malignant tumors responsible for ovarian and breast cancer. Unfortunately, fibroids affect women in ways you may not be able to imagine. Fibroids have been responsible for cases of spontaneous abortion, pre-term delivery and cesarean sections.  Continue reading “New Research for Fibroid Treatments”