It’s very important for women to take charge of their own health and know exactly what is going with their bodies. However, many women suffer in silence with uterine fibroids.
Jessica Shepherd, MD, MBA, a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, explains that uterine fibroids (myomas or leiomyomas) are tumors within the uterus that are the most common benign tumor of the pelvis. Fibroids can be various sizes that can range from the size of a grape to the size of a cantaloupe. In addition, they are also the leading indication for hysterectomies in the USA, where roughly 600,000 of these surgeries are performed per year. According to Dr. Shepherd, “there are so many other options for fibroids that as a physician, I feel it is my responsibility to counsel women. I have met so many women in their journey with fibroids that need reassurance and also a broader discussion on what they can do.”
Uterine fibroids have been show to impact between 70% and 80% of women before the age of 50 with severe symptoms occurring up to 30% of these patients. Symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure and pain, painful intercourse and abdominal bloating depending on size and location of each fibroid. Fibroids can also affect fertility and in women who have fertility issues due to fibroids, they need options that will preserve the uterus so they can have pregnancies in the future.
Healthcare providers are able to offer various treatment options to address the symptoms that are presented from medical therapies, to minimally invasive gynecological procedures, such as the Acessa Procedure, up to and including major surgeries. The most important part of treating fibroids is that every patient’s journey is different, and every patient is looking for different outcomes. The results of treatments can vary depending on the age of the woman, severity of symptoms, the reproductive desire of the patient and the duration of their symptoms. In light of International Women’s Day, Dr. Shepherd is committed to #pressforprogress, and offer her patients the most comprehensive treatment options available.