Fibroid Treatment in Reston & Annandale, VA
Approximately 7 out of 10 women develop fibroids during their reproductive years, a condition that is especially prevalent among women of color.
Hysterectomy has long been used as a standard treatment for fibroids. In recent years several treatments have become available that can treat fibroids and reduce or eliminate fibroid symptoms without harming the uterus.
The highly trained OBGYNs at Virginia Women’s Health Associates have extensive experience diagnosing and treating patients throughout the Reston, Annandale, and Fairfax area for uterine fibroids. Call (703) 435-2555 to request an appointment at our OBGYN office today!
What are Fibroids?
A fibroid is a benign mass of cells that exist within the tissues of the uterus. These lumps are not cancerous, though they can cause significant symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, chronic pain, and more.
Fibroids are an extremely common female condition, and are said to affect up to 80% of all women by age 50, though not every individual will present symptoms of fibroids. Many women that do experience difficulties with fibroids will begin to notice symptoms as their benign tumors gradually grow larger over time. This growth is likely to continue, along with worsening symptoms, if the woman’s fibroids remain untreated.
What are Uterine Fibroids Symptoms?
Although most uterine fibroids are asymptomatic and often discovered during routine gynecological checkups, some fibroids can sometimes cause problems.
Uterine fibroid symptoms such as pelvic pain, painful intercourse, constipation, urinary frequency and/or loss of urine tend to be caused by a large fibroid(s) pushing against nearby structures. In contrast, heavy menstrual bleeding symptoms caused by fibroids are usually associated with fibroids located in or around the lining of the uterus.
The most common uterine fibroid symptoms include:
Excessive Menstrual Bleeding. Most women with fibroids experience heavy bleeding, sometimes even causing anemia.
Pelvic Cramping & Pain. Uterine fibroids can increase a patient’s chances of painful menstrual cramping.
Pelvic Pressure. A woman with fibroids may experience chronic pelvic pain and pressure as well as pain in the lower back and sides.
Urinary Frequency. If fibroids compress the bladder, patients may find themselves using the bathroom much more frequently than they normally do.
Painful Intercourse. Many women experience pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
How Are Fibroids Diagnosed?
Uterine fibroids are often diagnosed during a woman’s routine gynecological examination, which she should be completing every single year as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Depending upon the particular location of the patient’s fibroid, your OBGYN may need to conduct an ultrasound or pelvic MRI in order to definitively confirm or deny a case of uterine fibroids.
What Causes Fibroids?
Unfortunately, there is no one particular cause to fibroids. Medical professionals and researchers speculate that the development of uterine fibroids is related to hormonal imbalances as well as the patient’s genetic history, meaning that individuals have little to no control over their risk for encountering this condition.
Uterine Fibroid Treatment Options
In most cases, fibroids are treated only if they are causing symptoms. Treatment options may include the following:
None of the drug therapies for uterine fibroids get rid of them entirely. Some of the drugs work by lowering estrogen and/or progesterone and may shrink fibroids and relieve symptoms. Other methods of treatment, such as using contraceptive pills, have been shown to control excessive menstrual bleeding, but do not affect the size of the fibroid.