5 Reasons to See a Specialist About Fibroid Symptoms

5 Reasons to See a Specialist About Fibroid Symptoms

Uterine fibroids affect almost a third of women in the United States over the age of 30. You’re more likely to have fibroids if you’re Black, obese, or never had a baby. 

These hard masses of muscle tissue that grow in your uterus aren’t dangerous, but they can cause extremely unpleasant symptoms. In some instances, they may even interfere with your fertility or impair your ability to carry a baby to term.

Expert gynecologist Sharon Smith, MD, diagnoses and treats uterine fibroids at her OBGYN Care practice in Houston, Texas. If you have fibroids — or think you might — here’s what to know about when and why you should seek the care of a specialist like Dr. Smith.

Holding your urine is painful or difficult

When your fibroids grow large enough, they can press against your bladder, so that it feels painfully full. You may feel an increased urgency to urinate, too.

Because fibroids grow gradually, you may not notice that you’re headed to the bathroom more frequently than is normal. But if you find yourself in discomfort or pain because you’re not able to reach a bathroom when the urge strikes, you could benefit from fibroid treatment.

Your periods are heavy

When your bleeding is unusually heavy, fibroids may be the reason. Because the fibroids are made of uterine muscle, the lining of your uterus grows on the fibroids, increasing the volume of blood you accumulate before your period.

Once you start to bleed, the extra volume of blood may cause you to go through a supersized tampon and pad every hour or so for the first few days. This deluge of menstruation may make it difficult to stay asleep at night.

Another sign of fibroids is passing big clots of blood when you menstruate. If your bleeding is heavy enough, you could even develop a condition called anemia, in which your body doesn’t have the red blood cells it needs to carry oxygen to your tissues and organs.

Heavy bleeding could also be a sign of another condition, such as endometriosis, which is why getting a diagnosis from a specialist is so important.

Sex — or your pelvis — is painful

Fibroids can grow to be as large as a cantaloupe or even a basketball. That kind of pressure can make your pelvis and abdomen feel heavy and painful.

Large fibroids may also make sex less pleasurable. The fibroids press against your bladder and other organs, which could be downright painful.

You have a right to pleasurable sex and a pain-free body. If you feel abdominal fullness or pain, or if sex hurts, Dr. Smith determines the cause and then customizes a treatment plan for you.

You’re not getting pregnant

Most women with fibroids are able to conceive and carry their babies to term, but if you have several fibroids, or if they’re very large, it could take you longer than normal to get pregnant. If you’re older, the fibroids narrow your window for conception even further.

Dr. Smith may shrink your fibroids with hormonal therapies to increase your odds of conceiving. She may also recommend fibroid removal.

If you still hope to have a family, your best treatment options for fibroids are:

If you’ve completed your family and don’t want to become pregnant again, you could also consider uterine embolization or endometrial ablation. In uterine embolization, Dr. Smith cuts off the blood flow to the fibroids. In endometrial ablation, she removes the lining of your uterus.

Don’t suffer needlessly from uterine fibroids. Get a diagnosis and treatment plan by contacting our caring, skilled specialist today at OBGYN Care of Houston.

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