February 26, 2024

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Get to Learn About the Signs, Risk Factors, and Use of Interventional Radiology to Treat Uterine Fibroids

3 min read

Approximately eighty percent of women know they have uterine fibroids by the time they attain fifty years. However, it is not easy to know that you might be having fibroids because most of them do not cause symptoms, but some do make it difficult to function normally. Therefore in case you are suffering from heavy periods or any other symptoms of fibroids, you are encouraged to seek medical help. Uterine fibroids in Houston, TX, are managed by specialists who offer fibroid removal treatment that reduces fibroid bleeding and shrinks them, putting an end to your symptoms.

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are fibrous tissue and muscle growths that are found in your uterus.  Generally, there are four types of fibroids and they are located in different locations on the uterus. The first type of uterine fibroid is intramural and is found on the muscle wall of your uterus. Submucosal fibroids are usually found within the internal lining of the uterus. The subserosal fibroid is located on the outermost layer of the uterus. Lastly are the pedunculated fibroids, which are stalk-growing fibroids.

Even though fibroids are not cancerous, they also cause significant problems like long periods and heavy bleeding. The size of a fibroid may range from being an apple seed size to as large as a grapefruit.  They can also occur in the form of clusters at times. Fibroids are not common after menopause because they mainly affect women in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.

What are the signs of fibroids?

In case you have fibroids, it is challenging to tell because most of them are symptomless.  In most cases, women find out that they have fibroids during their annual or routine wellness examination. However, fibroids can cause various complex issues like painful periods, prolonged periods, fatigue, clotting, constipation, anaemia, frequent pelvic pressure, fatigue, bloating, backache, pain during sex, leg pain or even urinary incontinence or frequent urination. They also cause heavy menstrual flow, which requires pads and tampons or changing tampons or pads after every 2 hours.  Women having uterine fibroids are more likely to have a cesarean section when giving birth. In other cases, fibroids can also cause infertility.

Even though the leading cause of fibroids is not known, some factors contribute to their occurrence. Weight, hormones, genetics, age and ethnicity have been known to increase the risk and severity of fibroid symptoms.

How does interventional radiology treat fibroids?

Treatment of fibroids is dependent on your needs and specific symptoms. The health care provider mainly focuses on using minimally invasive procedures that put an end to your symptoms without having major fibroid surgery. Uterine fibroid embolization is one of the safe and reliable ways of shrinking fibroids. During this procedure, the specialist makes a small groin area incision for catheter access. A slender catheter is inserted directly into the artery that supplies blood to the fibroid. A measured dose of an embolic agent is then administered, whose role is to cut off the blood supply to the fibroid. And since your fibroid is not receiving blood to keep it growing and alive, it begins to shrink and withers completely with time.

There is usually no need to resort to significant fertility-ending like a hysterectomy, and fibroid symptoms can be relieved through the uterine fibroid embolization procedure. The recovery period is a week or less.

If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, visit Alate Health today, where the health care team will help manage your symptoms appropriately.

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