Uterine fibroids are growths which form in the uterus. In most cases, they do not cause any symptoms. However, they can interfere with pregnancy and childbirth. At Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles, our team performs comprehensive fertility testing to determine the cause of female infertility. If fibroids are interfering with your dream of parenthood, Drs. Vicken Sahakian, Michele Evans, and Yvonne Han can find a treatment option suited to your needs. Our caring doctors can see you at either of our convenient Los Angeles, CA, offices.
Understanding Uterine Fibroids
Also known as a leiomyoma, uterine fibroids grow in the wall of the uterus and are almost always benign. They can range in size from as small as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit. Most women develop fibroids at some point in their lives. In fact, studies indicate that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids by the age of 50.
The exact cause of fibroids is unknown. However, certain factors can increase your risk of developing them, such as:
- Family history
- Eating habits
- Ethnic origin
Researchers believe that both hormones and genetics play a role in the development of fibroids.
Do I Have Fibroids?
Most women with uterine fibroids do not have any symptoms. However, the most common signs of this condition include:
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Periods lasting more than a week
- Back pain
- Leg pains
- Frequent urination
- Issues emptying the bladder
- Pain during intercourse
Depending on their location, uterine fibroids can also affect fertility or cause miscarriages. In some cases, your doctor will notice fibroids during a routine pelvic exam. Our team will typically perform an ultrasound, MRI, or lab tests to confirm their presence and investigate potential causes.
Fibroids and Fertility
Uterine fibroids do not always interfere with becoming pregnant. However, in some cases, they can interfere with implantation and cause complications during pregnancy or childbirth. For some women, fibroids can increase the risk for preterm delivery or the need for a cesarean section.
Treating Uterine Fibroids
For women without symptoms, there is often no reason to treat fibroids. However, if you have symptoms or are struggling with fertility, we may recommend treatment. Your doctor can explain the different treatment options available to you. We work to personalize our treatments to your unique needs and preferences, so your doctor will likely consider:
- The size of the fibroids
- Whether you are having symptoms
- If you want to become pregnant
- The location of the fibroids
- Your age
- How close you are to menopause
The most common treatments for fibroids are medication and surgery. Typically, medication is used to relieve mild symptoms, such as discomfort, anemia, or heavy bleeding. Medical therapy does not address the fibroids themselves, and symptoms will return as soon as you stop taking the medication.
At Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles, we strive to match the treatment to the unique needs and concerns of our patients.
If your fibroids are interfering with your pregnancy or you want a more permanent solution, surgery may be a better treatment option. For women who wish to become pregnant, a myomectomy can remove fibroids without affecting healthy uterine tissue. Other surgical solutions can alter your ability to become pregnant.
Find the Right Option for You
At Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles, we strive to match the treatment to the unique needs and concerns of our patients. Our world-class doctors and nurses use the latest testing methods and medical treatments to help you achieve your dream of parenthood. Learn more about fibroids by contacting our firm online or calling one of our two convenient locations today.