Fibroids rarely affect the quality of your life, but if you experience any adverse effects, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. If you are struggling with uncomfortable symptoms of fibroids Houston, TX, Alate Health specialists have your back with effective treatments.
Most prevalent types of fibroids
Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop in a woman’s uterus in her childbearing years. Medical experts also refer to them as myomas or leiomyomas. Fibroids rarely cause significant symptoms, but some people may experience bleeding, pain, or both. Your doctor may only stumble upon them during a general medical exam or an ultrasound. There are several types of fibroids, including:
- Submucosal fibroids
Submucosal fibroids are rare and only appear in the myometrium. The fibroids can block your fallopian tubes, compromising your ability to get pregnant.
- Pedunculated fibroids
Pedunculated fibroids often resemble mushrooms and can develop inside or outside the uterus.
- Intramural fibroids
Intramural fibroids are the most prevalent form of fibroids, often developing in the muscular wall of your uterus.
Factors contributing to the development of fibroids
The precise cause of uterine fibroids remains a mystery, although medical experts claim that estrogen levels may contribute to their development. During a woman’s childbearing years, progesterone and estrogen levels spike. The high estrogen levels during pregnancy trigger the swelling of fibroids.
Decreased estrogen levels cause the fibroids to shrink. Medications like antagonists and gonadotropin-releasing hormones can lower your estrogen levels. Genetic factors can also increase your risk of developing fibroids. Research also suggests that excess caffeine, red meat, and alcohol elevate your risk. Medical experts claim that intake of plenty of fruits reduces your risk. Your risk also decreases each time you get pregnant.
Diagnostic tests for fibroids
During your appointment at Alate Health, the team discusses your symptoms and conducts several tests to determine the cause of your discomfort. Your provider may insert a tiny ultrasound probe into your vagina to get a clear view of your uterus. The team may also use hysteroscopy, which involves a small device attached to a camera to view the inside of your uterus. If necessary, they may also extract a tissue sample to look for cancerous cells. Fibroids rarely cause symptoms, and your doctor can only detect them during a routine pelvic exam.
Available treatments for fibroids
Fibroids that don’t cause discomfort rarely require treatment and, in most cases, shrink after menopause. However, if the mass causes uncomfortable symptoms, medical treatments can relieve them—your treatment depends on your symptoms’ severity and the tumors’ location.
Your doctor may recommend medications like GnRH agonists that minimize the production of progesterone and estrogen. They stop your menstrual cycle without interfering with your fertility. In rare cases, gnRH agonists can trigger menopause-like symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and osteoporosis. Hormonal birth control medications can also regulate your menstrual cycle. In the case of severe fibroids, your provider may recommend surgery.
Call the Alate Health office or book your spot online to explore more about fibroids.