Uterine fibroids (myomas) are tumors that grow in and on the uterus. They can grow in different locations and range in size from a grain of rice to the size of a large pumpkin. A woman can have one fibroid or many at the same time.
A large number of women have these tumors, but they are undiagnosed because they do not cause them any issues. John Hopkins Medicine reports that around 77% of women in their childbearing years have one or more of these growths, but only about a third of them experience symptoms that require treatment. Although the tumors themselves are benign, the symptoms they cause can be concerning and can cause dangerous complications affecting a woman’s fertility and her quality of life.
Today we are going to answer the frequently asked question, “How dangerous are uterine fibroids?” We will talk about how these growths can directly and indirectly affect a woman’s health and well-being.
When Are Uterine Fibroids Dangerous?
These noncancerous growths can cause women quite a bit of trouble, depending on where they are growing, how many there are, and how large they get.
Some Of The Problems Fibroids Cause Can Be Serious
- Heavy Bleeding
- Myomas can develop inside the uterine walls and in the lining of the uterus. When they grow in these locations, they seem to cause the most issues. They interrupt the menstrual cycle and can cause periods that last unusually long and are accompanied by very heavy bleeding. The bleeding can be so terrible that they can not get through their normal daily activities without an accident. A reality TV star who was plagued with fibroids told a story about being at a very fancy dinner event, surrounded by people. She was wearing a beautiful off-white evening gown and said that she could tell that she was leaking blood and was afraid to get up out of her chair to try to leave the room.
- Losing a great deal of blood every month can lead to a serious health condition called anemia. This condition causes a deficit of healthy red blood cells, so the body is not able to deliver much-needed oxygen to the tissues and organs so they can function as they should. There are different types of anemia, and some can be life-threatening. Some of the symptoms you might experience with this condition are chronic tiredness, shortness of breath, feeling weak, an irregular heartbeat, headaches, chest pain, etc.
- Affects Potential For Conception
- Myomas can mess up the inside of the uterus enough to interfere with embryo implantation in the uterine lining and can also cause inflammation that impedes the fertility process. They can sometimes grow large enough to exert pressure on the fallopian tubes and prevent the egg from being fertilized.
- Pregnancy Complications
- Uterine fibroids can be dangerous in pregnancy and prevent it from reaching full term. These growths can occupy space that is meant for a growing baby and can even hijack its vital blood supply. They can be the cause of early membrane rupture and preterm delivery. They can also cause dangerous issues that impact childbirth, such as adverse positioning of the baby, or they can block the birth canal and initiate a C-section.
- Abdominal Enlargement
- Myomas can grow to such a substantial size that they can cause the abdomen to enlarge and can create pressure and discomfort on the nearby organs. Women with fibroids that cause their abdomens to protrude are often thought to be pregnant or overweight. An Atlanta-based TV personality was photographed at a red carpet event, and rumors began circulating about a “baby bump”, when in fact she was suffering from a uterus full of fibroids.
- Impact On Professional And Social Life
- The symptoms caused by these tumors can lead to an increase in absences from work and lower productivity, which can affect your job performance and chances for advancement.
They can also prevent you from having a full social life. They can limit your activities and prevent you from attending or participating in planned or unplanned leisure activities leaving you feeling isolated or depressed.
They can also take a toll on your intimate relationships. Fibroids in certain locations can cause pain during sexual intercourse, and bleeding all the time can impact the frequency of sex. The fear of pain and embarrassment of the continuous bleeding can lead to anxiety and a significant amount of stress on the relationship.
Are Small Uterine Fibroids Dangerous?
If you have just a few small fibroids, chances are you do not even know you have them, and they will not cause any issues. If they are numerous or located inside the uterus lining, they do have the capacity to be dangerous. They can prevent conception or terminate a pregnancy. Fibroids are sensitive to the hormone estrogen, so in the first few months of pregnancy, when estrogen levels are elevated, fibroids can grow to be fairly substantial. One study that was conducted on this subject concluded that the fibroids present doubled during the initial months of pregnancy.
What Should I Do About Dangerous Fibroid Symptoms?
Even though the tumors themselves are not usually considered dangerous, they do have the ability to wreak havoc on our personal and professional lives. If your fibroid symptoms have taken you and your life hostage, there is something that can be done to alleviate your pain and set you free. Talk to the experts at the Atlanta Fibroid Center about uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This procedure has much lower risk profile and recovery time than traditional fibroid surgery.
Dr. Lipman is one of the few who pioneered the non-invasive UFE procedure that can eliminate myomas and their symptoms without surgery. He has been helping women for over 25 years to regain their professional and personal lives, enhance their intimate relationships, and even become mothers by eliminating their fibroids. He and Dr. Ermentrout, with their 40 years of combined expertise, strategically locate and cut off the blood supply that is keeping the fibroids alive and effectively block it, which causes them to gradually die off, shrinking in the process. The procedure takes less than an hour, and there is no overnight hospital stay needed.
Don’t let these tumors cause you anxiety or pain any longer; set up an appointment today with the Atlanta Fibroid Center and let them help you be YOU again.