Non-cancerous, uterine fibroids are quite common and impact many women. Most people who develop them remain symptom-free, but some may experience heavy menstrual bleeding and pain. Understanding the different types of fibroids and their symptoms is the first step in being able to appropriately treat them.
What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in or on the wall of the uterus. They can vary in both size and number. The location of a fibroid within the uterus defines the type of fibroid and the course of action to take if necessary.
Just below the thin layer of tissue found in the uterus is the submucosa. When a fibroid forms in this location, it protrudes into the uterine cavity and is often linked to infertility problems. This is the rarest type of fibroid.
A hysteroscopy myomectomy is a minimally-invasive procedure typically performed to treat submucosal fibroids. This is the most common form of treatment for this kind of fibroid, but other options may be available depending on what your doctor recommends.
Inside the uterine cavity or outside the uterus, stems or stalks may develop by attaching themselves to the uterine wall. This type of fibroid is referred to as a pedunculated fibroid. As the pedunculated fibroid increases in size, the likelihood of the fibroid becoming twisted and causing pain increases.
If a pedunculated fibroid causes intense discomfort, a uterine artery embolization procedure may be performed to cut the blood supply to the fibroid. In some instances, a myomectomy may be carried out in an attempt to remove the fibroid.
The most common type of fibroid is the intramural fibroid. These may develop in the front, back, or upper part of the uterus and grows between the muscles. As with other fibroid types, symptoms of an intramural fibroid may range from none to being very mild. This type of fibroid may drastically affect a woman’s quality of life.
For those seeking treatment, childbearing plans and the severity of symptoms will determine whether medication or surgery is the best course of action. Procedures commonly used to remove intramural fibroids are uterine artery embolization and myomectomy. A hysterectomy is the last resort to improve the overall health condition.
Commonly found to cause bladder pressure or back pain, a subserosal fibroid grows outside the lining of the uterus. As it protrudes outward, the subserosal fibroid will often grow to be the largest of the above-mentioned fibroids. Naturally, symptoms will increase in severity as a fibroid grows in size.
Again, the severity of the symptoms determines whether to perform a myomectomy. In some women, cutting the blood supply to the fibroid will be attempted.
Providing patients with the best comprehensive care, Georgia Vascular Institute utilizes minimally-invasive techniques to treat various types of fibroids. If you or someone you love is dealing with fibroids, the experts at Georgia Vascular Institute can help. Give us a call at 770-506-4007 or schedule an appointment.