Consider These Treatment Options for Uterine Fibroids

Consider These Treatment Options for Uterine Fibroids

Our Rocky Mountain Fertility Center team, led by Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Deborah Smith, excels at identifying and assisting you in overcoming the challenges of infertility. Our mission includes increasing your understanding of infertility and the treatments that help you achieve your dreams.

Learn the basics about uterine fibroids and how our specialists can help.

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths that develop from the muscular wall of the uterus. These typically benign (noncancerous) tumors range from small, seedlike nodules to melon-size growths that can change the uterus’s shape and size.

You may have one or multiple uterine fibroids, which can grow inside the uterine cavity, within the inner wall of the uterus, or on the outer uterine wall. Most are smooth and round, but some are “pedunculated”, which means that the fibroids hangs from stalk-like tissue attached to the uterus.

Fibroids typically develop after the first menstrual period and tend to shrink or become asymptomatic once you reach menopause.  

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

Although as many as three out of four women have uterine fibroids, most never cause any symptoms.

But some women do develop symptoms, including:

 

Symptoms often depend on the fibroid’s location and size. For instance, those that grow low in the uterus can press on the bladder and cause problems with frequent urination or incomplete bladder emptying. A large fibroid can expand the uterus, giving the appearance of pregnancy.

How do uterine fibroids interfere with infertility?

Uterine fibroids are not a frequent cause of infertility. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility from fibroids occurs in 1-3% of individuals with fibroids. Infertility problems generally relate to the size, number, and location of the growths.

For instance, fibroids may block fallopian tubes or affect the shape of the cervix and prevent fertilization. Changes in the shape of the uterus can interfere with sperm movement or embryo implantation in the uterine lining. 

Fibroids can also grow large enough to impact blood flow to the uterus, affecting embryonic development.

Should Dr. Smith suspect uterine fibroids during your infertility evaluation at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center, she may recommend further assessment with an ultrasound.

How do you treat uterine fibroids?

Treatment for fibroids may include medication or surgery to shrink or remove the growths.

Depending on your desire for pregnancy, medications that can shrink fibroids or reduce symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding include birth control pills and other hormone treatments.

If you are interested in a future pregnancy, Dr. Smith may suggest minimally invasive surgery to remove the fibroid(s) while sparing your uterus. 

Minimally invasive surgery for fibroids may include hysteroscopy. During this procedure, Dr. Smith inserts a small tube (scope) into the cervical canal, removing the fibroids with surgical instruments passed through the scope. 

Other minimally invasive procedures include laparoscopy, which requires only one or two very small incisions in the lower abdomen. Most often if your fibroids are small enough to be removed laparoscopically they probably do not need removed for fertility purposes.

These are outpatient procedures that don’t require an extended hospital stay. Most people go home within a few hours of the surgery.

Large fibroids may require a bikini cut incision to remove the fibroids this is called an abdominal myomyectomy.

Schedule an evaluation at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center today for more information about uterine fibroids or other infertility services we offer. Call our Parker, Colorado, office or request an appointment online.

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