Uterine fibroids (also called leiomyomas or myomas) are benign growths in or on the uterus. Affecting primarily women of reproductive age, as many as 80% of women will develop fibroids by the age of 50, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These estrogen-dependent, non-cancerous lesions vary in shape, size, and location, and may cause severe pain and bleeding as well as infertility.
Fibroids don’t always lead to infertility, but when they become very large or enter into the uterine cavity, they can affect your ability to become pregnant. Depending on the type of fibroids, they may affect fertility by impacting ovulation, fertilization, or implantation. For example, they may cause blockage of the fallopian tubes, distort the size or shape of the uterine lining, or interrupt blood flow to the uterine cavity. Fibroids may also interfere with sperm or embryo movement and certain types can increase your risk of pregnancy complications.
Patients with fibroids face a range of physical and emotional challenges. At Vios, our personalized approach to care supports patients throughout your treatment journey to manage your symptoms while helping you to achieve your family building goals.
Our Personalized Approach to Fibroid Treatment
At Vios Fertility Institute, our compassionate team of fertility experts understands the day-to-day physical and emotional challenges that patients with fibroids can experience. Together, we work to provide customized care and treatment options to meet your needs and reproductive goals. Our philosophy is to approach each patient as an individual needing customized care in a welcoming and reassuring atmosphere.
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids or are experiencing fibroid symptoms, it is important to see a physician (even if you are not immediately seeking to become pregnant). Our experienced fertility specialists will help you evaluate whether fibroids are affecting your fertility and determine potential treatment options. We are committed to your ongoing care and recovery and will support you through every aspect of your fertility journey.
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Contact us to begin your personalized care at one of our convenient locations:
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Causes of Fibroids
While the cause of uterine fibroids has not been determined, we do know that they are hormone-dependent lesions caused by estrogen. Fibroids usually begin to form in women of reproductive age and may shrink as hormone levels naturally fall with age (menopause). Genetics may play a role in fibroid formation since we know that many women with fibroids have a family history of the condition. Patients with high blood pressure or who are overweight may also have an increased chance of developing fibroids.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Common symptoms of uterine fibroids include heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, cramping, and pressure. They may also include long menstrual cycles (longer than 7 days), pain during intercourse, frequent urination, constipation, backaches, or leg pain.
Some patients may also experience no symptoms of uterine fibroids, so it’s always important to have regular gynecological exams. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Types of Fibroids
Depending on the type of fibroids, your physician may recommend different treatment options. The four main fibroid types are:
- Intramural—Grow within the muscular uterine wall
- Submucosal—Project into the uterine cavity
- Subserosal—Extend outside of the uterus
- Pedunculated—Connected by a stalk-like growth to the uterine wall
Diagnosis and Treatment of Fibroids
Fibroids are usually easy to identify in a pelvic exam and your fertility specialist may use lab tests, sonograms, or other imaging to evaluate your condition.
In some cases, if fibroids are small or produce no symptoms, treatment may not be required. When fibroids cause painful symptoms or interfere with fertility, however, we can offer several effective treatment options. Your Vios fertility specialist will work with you to evaluate these options based on your reproductive age, symptoms, the size of the growth, and your personal reproductive plan.
Medications can treat symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure by targeting the hormones that stimulate fibroid growth. Medications won’t eliminate fibroids, but they can help by causing them to shrink and mitigating other symptoms in order to help you resume normal life.
Depending on your specific diagnosis, your fertility specialist may recommend surgery to treat fibroids. At Vios, we offer a range of surgical options that allow our expert team of physicians to target your unique needs. When required, we also collaborate with your OB/GYN to facilitate treatment so that together, we can help you achieve your reproductive goals.
For patients unable to become pregnant after fibroid treatment, Vios Fertility Institute offers a number of treatment options, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). We will collaborate with you throughout your fertility journey to help you understand your options and determine the best path for treatment.
Emotional Support and Wellness
For patients dealing with the chronic symptoms and potential reproductive issues associated with fibroids, emotional support can be an important part of your treatment. At Vios, we collaborate with a local network of specialists, including counselors and psychiatrists, so that we can help ensure your wellness throughout your treatment journey. Our comprehensive approach to care supports patients beyond treatment to give you the best chance of recovery while helping you to achieve your family-building goals.
Affording Treatment and Financial Guidance
For patients who require treatment for fibroids, understanding both the cost of care and your insurance benefits can be confusing. At Vios Fertility Institute, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to start a family. We offer a variety of affordable care programs to make testing, treatment, and family planning more affordable so you can worry less about cost and focus on your future family. Our financial and insurance counselors will help you assess your coverage and options to help you make informed decisions that best utilize any insurance benefits and exhaust other available support options. Visit our financial FAQs for more details.