Fibroid tumors can be defined as muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. These types of tumors are almost always not cancerous. A woman can have a single fibroid tumor or she can have many fibroid tumors in her uterus.
Fibroid tumors are quite common in women by the time they reach the age of fifty. But not all fibroid tumors will produce symptoms. If there are no symptoms, fibroid tumors are not treated.
But for some women, fibroid tumors can cause debilitating symptoms. One of these symptoms can be heavy bleeding during menstruation. The bleeding can be so heavy that is will cause anemia.
Other symptoms caused by a fibroid tumor can include frequent urination and a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen and pelvic area. The lower abdomen may appear larger than normal when a large fibroid is present.
Fibroid tumors can cause lower back pain. They can also cause pain during sexual intercourse.
If a woman has fibroid tumors that are causing painful or debilitating symptoms, she needs to find out what her treatment options are.
Fibroid tumors have been treated in the past with medications. Birth control pills are used to shrink the tumors and control heavy bleeding. Another drug that is used is called a gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonist. But medications will come with side effects.
Surgery can be used to remove the fibroid tumors. One type of surgery will remove the tumor itself without destroying the surrounding healthy uterine tissue. Some women who are no longer interested in having children may opt to have a hysterectomy.
Endometrial ablation is a surgery that involves removing or destroying the lining of the uterus to control heavy bleeding. This is very minor surgery and it can even be performed in the doctor’s office. Women who have this procedure will no longer be able to have children.
But what about new treatments for fibroid tumors? Are there other treatments being developed to treat fibroid tumors?
One of the newer treatments for fibroid tumors is called uterine fibroid embolization. This is a procedure in which a thin tube is threaded into the blood vessels that supply blood to the fibroid. Tiny plastic or gel particles are then injected into the blood vessels, cutting off the blood supply to the tumor. The fibroid will then shrink.
Another new treatment that is being used to treat fibroid tumors is MRI guided ultrasound surgery. An MRI will help the doctor locate the tumor and then an ultrasound will send out high frequency sound waves to destroy the tumor.
Lasers are being tested right now as an alternative to surgery for the treatment of fibroid tumors. There are anti-hormonal drugs that are being developed for the treatment of fibroid symptoms. These drugs are not yet available.
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