Fibroids are overgrowths of muscle tissue that form in the uterus. They can range in size from about the size of a grape to as large as a melon. The underlying cause of fibroid growth and development is unknown; however, studies indicate a probable link between fibroid growth and changes in hormone levels, and most fibroids stop growing once menopause occurs. Fibroids are more likely to occur in women with a family history of the growths, and some may grow large enough to interfere with pregnancy.
Nearly all fibroids are benign, or non-cancerous.
Some fibroids cause no symptoms at all, but when symptoms do occur, they can include:
Significant cramping during periods
Abnormally heavy periods or spotting between periods
Unless your fibroids are causing significant symptoms or you're concerned about having fibroids while you're pregnant, they probably won't need to be treated. When treatment is necessary, options include hormone therapy, MRI-guided ultrasound, ablation, uterine artery embolization and surgical removal. Before any treatment is recommended, we'll perform a thorough evaluation of your health and your fibroids to determine which approach would be the most effective.
Some fibroids may come back following treatment. Whether or not yours come back will depend on several factors, including the type of treatment you have to remove them.
Uterine artery embolization is a minimally-invasive procedure used to cut off the blood flow from fibroids, so they shrink over time. It can be performed right in the office as an outpatient procedure.