Uterine Fibroid | How Common are Fibroids of the Uterus

Uterine-Fibroids-are-More-Common-Than-You-Think_blog-pic_LI-00-0244-AUterine Fibroids are More Common Than You Think

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that appear within the uterus, often during a woman’s childbearing years. Although the diagnosis may sound scary, it’s actually very common and there are several courses of treatment to pursue. Additionally, according to the Mayo Clinic, this condition is not associated with an increased risk of cancer in the uterus and the chance of the existing tumors becoming cancerous is very low.

A Look at Some Statistics

The Academy of Women’s Health website notes that 70% of Caucasian women may develop the disorder in their lifetimes and that percentage rises by 10 points in African-American females. A hysterectomy, also known as a surgical removal of the uterus, was once the standard treatment for the condition. Although alternatives now exist, some physicians are still recommending this drastic course of action for patients. The Academy of Women’s Health website also examined data related to the number of people who opted to have hysterectomies to treat this disorder of the uterus. It was discovered that in 2006, the year associated with the most recent data available, almost 300,000 women decided to have hysterectomies to remove their tumors.

A Lack of Symptoms

The Mayo Clinic website notes that although as many as three out of every four women may be affected by this condition, most don’t realize it, simply because patients often do not have symptoms. In fact, you may only become aware of the issue after undergoing a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.

Risk Factors

Scientists have also discovered that some things may cause a person to be at an increased risk of developing uterine fibroids. They include eating a diet that’s higher in red meat than vegetables and fruit and starting to menstruate at an early age. Genetics also plays a role, because if your mother or sister is diagnosed with the condition, you’ll be at an increased likelihood of dealing with it too.

Treatment May Not Be Required

To close on a hopeful note, it’s worth mentioning that the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation website discusses how out of every four women who have the condition, only one of those will have symptoms severe enough to require treatment.

With that in mind, be proactive about your health and continue receiving annual gynecological exams. If your health care provider diagnoses you with this common issue, make sure to carefully evaluate all available treatment options, rather than immediately scheduling yourself for a hysterectomy.

Take the Next Step

If you feel you may have the symptoms or have been diagnosed with uterine fibroid tumors, it is a good idea to discuss all of the available treatments for fibroids.

Click on the Physician Finder at the right to find an Acessa-trained physician near you to see if the Acessa procedure is right for you. Or for more information, please contact Acessa Health at 877.412.3828.

Sources

  1. http://academyofwomenshealth.org/mppost-september-4-2013-uterine-fibroid-tumors-a-surprisingly-common-and-highly-treatable-condition/
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-fibroids/DS00078
  3. http://www.nuff.org/health_statistics.htm
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Symptoms of Fibroids | Learn the Telltale Signs of Uterine Fibroids

Learn-the-Telltale-Symptoms-of-Fibroids_blog-pic_LI-00-0244-ALearn the Telltale Symptoms of Fibroids

The wall of your uterus, or the myometrium, is made of smooth, muscular tissue, which is strong enough to support the weight of a baby and the amniotic fluid supporting the new life among other things. Sometimes a single myometrial cell divides and keeps dividing. This action creates a fibroid tumor, which is a rubbery mass that is not incorporated into the surrounding tissue.

Many of these masses start out no larger than a seed and stay that way without ever causing symptoms of fibroids or being detected. Others can grow and then shrink again, while others grow steadily until they become large enough to push the top of your uterus up into your rib cage. They can develop one at a time or in clusters.

Types of Fibroids

There are three types of fibroid tumors, each with its own and overlapping symptoms of fibroids.

Intramural fibroids grow within the walls of your uterus, not projecting into your uterine cavity or the surrounding tissues. This type of fibroid can change the shape of your uterus, causing pain and a feeling of pressure, as well as causing your periods to become longer and your flow heavier than normal.

Submucosal fibroids grow from the uterine wall into your uterine cavity. They also cause longer, heavier periods and they can also interfere with a fertilized egg attaching to the uterine wall, making pregnancy more difficult.

Subserosal fibroids grow from the uterine wall outward. Depending on where they develop and how large they grow, they can press on your bladder or rectum, causing problems for healthy elimination.

Symptoms of Fibroid Tumors

While there are some differences in the symptoms of fibroids according to type, the most common indicators are:

  • Unusually heavy periods happen to most women from time to time, but several periods in a row with markedly increased flow may be an indication of fibroids.
  • Periods that habitually last more than one week. Most periods take less than seven days from start to finish. If your periods usually last only five days or so and you have several that last for seven or more, you may have developed fibroids.
  • Issues with urination are another possible sign of developing fibroids. This can manifest as trouble urinating or having to go far more often. Recurring constipation not linked to changes in diet or medication may also be an indication of fibroids.
  • Backache or leg pains with no easily explainable cause, such as changes in daily routine, can indicate a fibroid pressing on the nerves in your back.

While the phrase “fibroid tumors” sounds a bit alarming, the Mayo Clinic estimates that nearly three out of four women will experience them at one time or another and they are overwhelmingly likely to stay benign. If you are experiencing any symptoms and have concerns, consult your physician. The sooner you know exactly what is causing your symptoms, the less stress you’ll have.

Know Your Options

It is a good idea to discuss all available treatments for fibroids with a health care professional if you feel you may have the symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors, or if you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroid tumors.

Click on Physician Finder to find an Acessa-trained physician near you to see if the Acessa procedure is right for you. Or for more information, please contact Acessa Health at 877.412.3828.

Sources

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-fibroids/DS00078
  2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/uterine-fibroids-and-hysterectomy
  3. http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2009/a-new-treatment-option-for-uterine-fibroids
  4. http://www.health.ny.gov/community/adults/women/uterine_fibroids/
  5. http://www.acessaprocedure.com/2013/04/16/fibroid-pain-how-to-cope/
  6. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151405.php

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Fibroid Pain | Options for Uterine Fibroid Pain Relief

Managing-Fibroid-Pain--Your-Options-for-Pain-Relief-and-Treatment_blog-pic_LI-00-0243-AManaging Fibroid Pain: Your Options for Pain Relief and Treatment

Uterine fibroids, also known as myomas, fibromyomas and leiomyomas, are small growths that occur in and on the muscle tissue of your uterus. They can be so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye or so large that they cause pressure on your diaphragm, bladder or rectum. Approximately three out of every four women will develop fibroid tumors, usually during their childbearing years. This type of tumor almost never becomes cancerous, according to the Mayo Clinic, but they can cause many symptoms, including pain.

Painkillers

The first line of defense against abdominal and back fibroid pain is over the counter– or OTC — painkillers. Aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen all ease the milder forms of pain associated with fibroids. Aspirin and ibuprofen also relieve inflammation, while acetaminophen does not. Read the labels of all OTC medications to make sure that they are designed to alleviate your particular symptoms.

Prescription medications such as acetaminophen with codeine can help ease pain that is too severe for over the counter medications. With increased potency come increased risks ranging from enhanced side effects to the possibility of addiction. Tempting as it may be to ask for the most powerful painkillers your doctor is willing to prescribe, it is best to start with the mildest form and give it time to work. Increase potency and dosages in the smallest increments possible.

Non-Surgical Options

If painkillers are not easing the symptoms of fibroid pain and you are experiencing extremely heavy periods that last more than seven days, you may want to consider an intra-uterine device, or IUD. These are most often used as a method of birth control, but the progesterone some types contain and release can reduce heavy bleeding. The type of fibroids you have must not be distorting the shape of your uterus for an IUD to be effective and safe.

There are two other non-surgical procedures for dealing with fibroids that are worth a little personal research. Uterine Artery Embolization uses a tiny catheter inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to inject particles into the blood vessels feeding each fibroid tumor. This causes the tumor to shrink and die.

The second procedure is known as ExAblate. It uses focused ultrasound waves to break down the tissues of the fibroids, destroying them.

Surgical Options

In cases of extreme fibroid pain, unmanageable periods and effects on your diaphragm, bladder and rectum, you may want to consider surgery. This option can range from removing only the fibroids to removing the entire uterus, which is called a hysterectomy. While this used to be the standard medical response to fibroid tumors, most medical professionals see it only as a last resort.

One innovative and effective alternative to a hysterectomy that recently became available is the Acessa System. This system uses a laparoscopic procedure and is able to shrink or completely eliminate fibroids while keeping the uterus protected and healthy. The procedure also can be done without an overnight hospital stay, has a short recovery time and produces little scarring.

Alternative and Complementary Options

If you prefer the methods of alternative and complementary medicine, the prevailing theory is to avoid all inflammation-causing foods such as alcohol, dairy, meat and sugar. In addition, make use of the phytoestrogens found in plants that lower your body’s natural estrogen levels, most notably soy. Increase your intake of both A and B vitamins and if you are having heavy periods, take an iron supplement. All of these methods cannot only ease pain, but they may help to reduce the length and severity of your periods.

Women’s bodies are as unique as their personalities, so what works for your best friend – or even your sister – may not work for you. Relief is available, so don’t be afraid to try several different methods of pain and symptom relief until you find the one that works for you.

Know Your Options

It is a good idea to discuss all available treatments for fibroids with a health care professional if you feel you may have the symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors, or if you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroid tumors.

Click on Physician Finder to find an Acessa-trained physician near you to see if the Acessa procedure is right for you. Or for more information, please contact Acessa Health at 877.412.3828.
Sources

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-fibroids/DS00078
  2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/uterine-fibroids-and-hysterectomy
  3. http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2009/a-new-treatment-option-for-uterine-fibroids
  4. http://www.health.ny.gov/community/adults/women/uterine_fibroids/
  5. http://www.acessaprocedure.com/2013/04/16/fibroid-pain-how-to-cope/
  6. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151405.php

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Fibroids and Hysterectomies | Alternatives to a Hysterectomy

Fibroids-of-the-Uterus-and-Hysterectomies--What-You-Need-to-Know_blog-pic_LI-00-0242-AFibroids of the Uterus and Hysterectomies: What You Need to Know

Doctors don’t fully understand why many women develop a condition called uterine fibroids, where tumors develop within the uterus. What is known though is that the tumors are benign and unlikely to develop into cancer at a later time. Also, when discussing symptoms of fibroids, areas of the uterus may be examined as well, because a range of symptoms can occur depending on how close the tumors are to nearby organs.

If you’ve been diagnosed with the disorder, one of the first questions on your mind is likely whether it’s necessary to pursue treatment now or if you can wait until a later time. If problematic symptoms are not currently making your life miserable, you may be advised to simply see if the condition worsens. However, if the doctor advises you that an intervention is necessary as soon as possible, don’t be surprised if they recommend a hysterectomy, otherwise known as a complete removal of the uterus.

Risks of Hysterectomies

Although hysterectomies are widely recommended, they come with several risks including:
• Fatigue
• Personality/Mood Change
• Infertility
• Increased cancer risk
• Bone density issues
• Excessive bleeding
• Fatal blood clots
• Urinary incontinence
• Premature menopause
• Pain during intercourse
• Bowel problems
• A decreased desire to engage in sex

In addition to the risks of a hysterectomy, recovery time may be as long as six weeks and patients are often required to stay overnight in the hospital. And the incisions from a hysterectomy can be large and unsightly. Understandably, reading those side effects and realizing that a hysterectomy is a very drastic procedure could be enough to make you wonder if there’s a better way to get the treatment you need. Fortunately, there are other solutions and if you’re committed to being as informed as possible about your health, it’s a good idea to pursue them and get information to help you make a smart decision about your future. One innovative alternative is called the Acessa Procedure and you can read about it below.

The Acessa Procedure as a Worthwhile Alternative

The Acessa Procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomies. Because it only targets the fibroids, areas of the uterus that are not affected remain intact and unharmed. The technology uses a process called radio frequency thermal ablation delivered through a hand piece to manage existing tumors. Patients can generally go home the same day as the procedure and return to work four to five days later. The Acessa Procedure is performed laparoscopically, which greatly reduces scarring. And, the chance of having recurring issues is very small.

Although there’s not a single treatment approach that works for every woman, it’s necessary to understand that hysterectomies are no longer the only option to pursue for someone who’s been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. If you’re facing that issue, check out alternatives such as the Acessa Procedure to see if it might better meet your requirements by helping you stay healthy without resorting to procedures that are very invasive, such as hysterectomies.

Looking For More Information On Treating Uterine Fibroids?

Call Acessa Health at 877.412.3828.

Know Your Options

If you feel you may have the symptoms or have been diagnosed with uterine fibroid tumors, it is a good idea to discuss all of the available treatments for fibroids.

Click on the Physician Finder to find an Acessa-trained physician near you to see if the Acessa procedure is right for you. Or for more information, please contact Acessa Health at 877.412.3828.
Sources

  1. http://www.news-medical.net/health/Hysterectomy-Risks.aspx
  2. http://www.haltmedical.com/
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-fibroids/DS00078
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