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Questions on Uterine Fibroid Treatment

Uterine fibroids are tumors which erupt on the uterine wall. While these tumors are usually non-cancerous, there are rare reports of uterine fibroids that are malignant. When benign uterine fibroids grow there is an increased risk of pain, heavy bleeding, discomfort during sex and frequent urination. These fibroids however, don't interfere with pregnancy in most cases. To learn more about uterine fibroids and treatments for the condition, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by the Experts.

Can a uterine fibroid cause swelling in the legs?

In most cases, fibroids are not responsible for leg and ankle swelling. However, fibroids of a large size could potentially cause pressure on veins that are responsible for the circulation of blood to the body from the legs. This, in turn, could cause the legs to swell. In other words, leg and ankle swelling is a common occurrence and generally doesn't occur in women who have fibroids any more than in women who don't have fibroids.

What helps with pain caused by uterine fibroids?

In many cases, birth control pills can help ease the symptoms of fibroids by controlling menstrual bleeding. IUDs that release progestin can also provide relief from heavy period flow caused by fibroids.

Some women choose to take GnRH agonists such as Lupron and Synarel which are medicines that usually treat fibroids by decreasing the estrogen and progesterone levels. By using this medication, the women are put into a temporary postmenopausal state where their periods stop. This, in turn, shrinks the fibroids and improves anemia. One negative result of using GnRH agonists, however, is that the medicine can cause the women to have extreme hot flashes. Using the medicine with birth control pills in this situation can help.

Generally, the only sure way to end fibroid issues is to remove the uterus. But if a woman waits till she hits menopause and her estrogen levels drop, she will find that the fibroids will generally shrink due to their dependency on estrogen.

What tests do I need to do for hysterectomy due to uterine fibroids?

In most cases, if the woman is bleeding, an Endometrial biopsy is generally performed. This test is done to check for a rare but possible case of endometrial uterine cancer. A pap smear is also suggested to detect cervical dysplasia. However, if the woman has had normal pap smears in the past, there usually wouldn’t be any reason for concern. Another test that is good to do would be a CBC which is a Complete Blood Count to check hemoglobin levels. Finally, a Urinanalysis should generally be done to detect any possible urinary tract infections that need to be treated before surgery is performed.

What is the recommended treatment for uterine fibroids to save fertility?

When trying to treat fibroids in a way that doesn’t pose any harm to fertility, many women consult with their OB/GYN about the possibility of having a myomectomy. A myomectomy is a procedure that removes fibroids surgically.. However, in many cases, a surgical procedure such as this will prevent natural childbirth later in life as it causes weakening of the uterine wall that would warrant a C-section during delivery. Hormonal treatments for fibroids, on the other hand, only provide temporary relief and make it nearly impossible to become pregnant while using hormones.

Uterine fibroids affect many women but there are treatments available to manage the condition. If you have a uterine fibroid, it is helpful to understand more about it and clear any doubts you may have to avoid complications later on. Direct all your queries to an Expert now who can offer medical assistance and information with finding the proper method of treatment.

Ask an OB GYN Doctor

Dr. C.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1654
Experience:  29 years of experience and an award-winning educator.
54412793
Type Your OB GYN Question Here...
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OB GYN Doctors are online & ready to help you now

Dr. C.
Board Certified
Satisfied Customers: 1618
28 years of experience and an award-winning educator.
Monika Hearne, M.D.
Board Certified OB/GYN
Satisfied Customers: 5745
With experience and compassion, I treat my patients like family.
Dr. Charles
OB/GYN (Doctor)
Satisfied Customers: 140
Board Certified. Solo practice for 8 years; delivered more than 1300 infants and performed more than 800 surgeries.

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