When selecting the right fibroid treatment option, you need to consider what kind of uterine fibroids you have.
Not all uterine fibroids are alike. And that means that treating them will not look the same for everyone either. Here are a few ways in which fibroids, and symptoms of fibroids, can differ from woman to woman:
Area of fibroid growth
All uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus. However, where they are located can vary. For example, submucosal fibroids grow inside the uterine cavity. Intramural fibroids grow within the uterine wall. And subserosal fibroids grow outside the uterus.1,2
“Fibroids arise from normal uterine cells which mutate and then grow in an abnormal way,” said Dr. James Spies MD MPH, Professor, Chairman and Chief of Service of the Department of Radiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. “They’re benign tumors, but as they grow, they can cause symptoms, and these symptoms vary depending on the location of the fibroids within the uterus. They can affect everywhere from the inner portion of the uterus to the outer portion.”
Number of fibroids present
In addition to the location of growth, uterine fibroids can also vary according to the number such growths in or around the uterus. Some women only have one fibroid, while others have many fibroids.
Size of fibroids
Fibroids can also differ in size. Some can be tiny, while other women suffer from large fibroids in the uterus. In between, fibroids can grow in almost any size.
Types of fibroids
There are a number of types of fibroids, each with their own characteristics. Read more about the types of fibroids here.
Severity of fibroid symptoms
Finally, the symptoms of fibroids can vary from woman to woman. The factors that affect the severity of fibroid pain include things such as the number and size of the fibroids. For example, the larger the fibroid(s), the more severe the fibroid pain tends to be (and the harder it can be to shrink or treat the fibroid).
However, it is their location that can most influence the symptoms of fibroids that the sufferer experiences. In particular, the deeper the fibroid is within the uterus, the worse the woman’s symptoms usually are.
“The fibroids that cause the biggest problems are typically those deep within the uterus. One woman might only have one fibroid that’s small but deep that causes significant symptoms,” Dr. Spies explains. “Another woman may have very large fibroids but in a position where they don’t cause the same kind of symptoms.”
Different treatments for different fibroids
Depending on the factors above, your doctor should discuss a number of different fibroid treatment options. In brief, they are:
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This procedure has been shown in one study to shrink the fibroid or fibroids by 45 percent.3 Thanks to this level of effectiveness, combined with a relatively low number of UFE side effects, this procedure offers a minimally invasive way to deal with the vast majority of uterine fibroids. In cases where UFE is contraindicated, fibroid surgery is sometimes an option.
- Myomectomy –In particular, a myomectomy, which removes the fibroid surgically, can sometimes serve as an effective treatment.4
- Hysterectomy – Is the most extreme form of fibroid surgery – the surgical removal of the uterus.
- Medications – Medications such as birth control are sometimes used to control symptoms of fibroids (such as heavy menstrual bleeding), and not as a cure for fibroids in the uterus. Another type of medication, GnRH analogues, are only used to help reduce the size of the fibroids as a precursor to surgery.2,5 In order for medications alone to serve as treatment for large fibroids in the uterus, more research is required.
Getting the right fibroid diagnosis and treatment
In the end, the key to choosing the right treatment for large fibroids in the uterus is to get the right diagnosis and familiarize yourself with your treatment options. In addition, knowing and speaking up for your own desires regarding treatment can help you to get the approach that will work best for you.
It is impossible to self-diagnose or choose a treatment option without guidance. It takes someone with a lot of medical experience in this particular field to advise you on which therapies are best for your particular fibroids.
Of course we’d love it if you chose VIVA EVE: The Fibroid Experts for your fibroid diagnosis and treatment needs. WE have years of experience with UFE for both fibroids and adenomyosis.
Further, we’re committed to providing high-quality, personalized care. We’ll partner with you to determine the best way to treat your problematic symptoms.