House Call: Uterine Fibroids – Signs, Symptoms & When to Seek Treatment
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous, muscular tumors that develop in the uterus. It is a common condition among females, with as many as one in five women developing fibroids during their childbearing years. Uterine fibroids tend to cause more symptoms and grow larger in women in their 30’s and 40’s.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids include changes in menstruation, such as longer, more frequent or heavier periods, menstrual pain, vaginal bleeding at times other than menstruation, and anemia. Signs of uterine fibroids also include pain in the abdomen, lower back or legs (often dull, heavy and aching, but can also be sharp), pain during sex, difficult or frequent urination, constipation, rectal pain or difficult bowel movements, enlarged uterus and abdomen, miscarriages and infertility.
Although uterine fibroids are noncancerous, they can interfere with a woman’s life by causing extremely heavy periods, pain and, in more severe cases, anemia. Women who are experiencing symptoms of fibroids should discuss their condition and treatment options with their gynecologist.
Treatment can involve something as minimal as birth control pills or anti-inflammatories to a more serious intervention, such as surgery, depending on the severity of the fibroids and their symptoms. Cone Health has an exceptional network of obstetrics and gynecology specialists and other related healthcare providers dedicated to caring for the many health conditions that are unique to women. To find a specialist near you, visit conehealth.com.
Dr. Suzanne Miller is a gynecology specialist and a member of Cone Health Medical Staff. She is a 2000 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.