Types and Locations of Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids are benign growths located in and around your uterine wall. These growths can manifest in different forms according to their position within the uterine structure; therefore, understanding the types and locations of uterine fibroids is crucial for identifying symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment. Here are the four types of fibroids a woman may have:
Intramural fibroids are the most common type. These fibroids are located within the uterine wall. Large fibroids of this type can expand the uterus, which might lead to increased menstrual bleeding or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your lower abdomen.
Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside of your uterus. They can create a noticeable lump and may cause back pain or pressure on other organs as they expand. While they are attached to the outer surface of the uterine wall, they do not protrude into the uterine cavity.
Submucosal fibroids are less common and develop just under the lining of the uterine cavity. These fibroids can protrude into the uterine cavity, leading to heavy menstrual bleeding and more severe menstrual cramps. Their location under the uterine lining also has the potential to impact fertility.
Pedunculated fibroids are a unique fibroid type that forms a stalk, attaching them to either the inside or the outside of the uterus. If the fibroid is connected to the outside, it is considered subserosal; if it’s attached to the interior, it is submucosal. Their “stalk-like” structure allows them to swing and can sometimes lead to a twisting sensation if the fibroid becomes twisted on its stalk.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
When it comes to uterine fibroids, your awareness of symptoms and the subsequent diagnostic process are vital for timely identification and management. Recognizing the signs and understanding the diagnostic procedures can help you seek appropriate care.
Recognizing Fibroid Symptoms
Your experience with fibroids can range from being completely asymptomatic to having several symptoms. Common signs include:
- Heavy bleeding or heavy periods: This is often one of the earliest signs of fibroids.
- Pressure on the bladder, leading to frequent urination.
- Pelvic pain or pressure: Especially during menstrual cycles or intercourse.
- Bulge in the lower abdomen: Larger fibroids may create a noticeable swelling.
If you’re experiencing a combination of these symptoms, it might be an indication that fibroids are present.
To diagnose the types of uterine fibroids, healthcare providers typically rely on:
- Ultrasound: A non-invasive imaging test that uses sound waves to produce images of your uterus and detect fibroids.
- Hysteroscopy: A more direct examination where a small camera is inserted into the uterus through the cervix, providing a clear view of the uterine cavity and the presence of fibroids.
Both procedures contribute to a confident diagnosis and allow for the evaluation of the size, location, and number of fibroids, facilitating an informed decision about your treatment options.
Treatment Options for Fibroids
The management of fibroids involves an array of strategies, from careful monitoring to surgical intervention, depending on the size, growth, and impact of the fibroids on your everyday life.
Should your fibroids be small and asymptomatic, your doctor may recommend simply monitoring their growth over time. This approach is non-invasive and involves regular check-ups to assess any increase in size or symptoms.
In cases where intervention is necessary but surgery is not required, your doctor might consider medication to manage symptoms or shrink the fibroids. Interventional radiologists offer minimally invasive procedures like uterine artery embolization (UAE) or uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), where particles are injected to block the fibroids’ blood supply, reducing their size and bleeding symptoms.
When fibroids are large or symptomatic enough to necessitate removal, different types of surgical treatments come into play. A myomectomy is recommended if you wish to preserve fertility; this procedure excises the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. For a definitive solution, especially when fibroids significantly impact your quality of life, a hysterectomy, the complete removal of the uterus, may be advised.
Minimally invasive options such as laparoscopy or endometrial ablation could help as well, targeting fibroids or the endometrial lining while requiring less recovery time. Each of these interventions will be tailored to your unique circumstances by your healthcare provider.
Choose Access Vascular for Non-Invasive Fibroid Treatment Today
Access Vascular offers uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a non-surgical option that may provide relief without the need for invasive procedures. With UFE, you could experience a reduction in symptoms typically associated with fibroids. Reach out to Access Vascular today to explore your treatment possibilities!