Having gynecological issues can be concerning, especially if you are diagnosed with a condition that you are unfamiliar with. Some women have menstrual cycles that last much longer than normal and are accompanied by excessive bleeding. They may also have chronic pelvic pain or more severe side effects, such as anemia, due to their loss of blood. These and more debilitating symptoms can often disrupt their lives and take a toll on their career or social life.
The unfortunate fact is that many of these women do not understand that what they are dealing with is not normal, so they just try to get through life as best they can. Some do seek medical help to alleviate these symptoms, and they are told they have uterine myomas, fibroid tumors, or uterine fibroids, which are different terms used to describe the same condition. Getting this diagnosis can create anxiety or even panic if you are unaware of what these growths are or what treatments are available.
Today we are going to talk a bit about myomas and some of the concerns women have when they are told these growths are behind their symptoms. We will also give an overview of the different ways that fibroids are treated, and we will discuss the best treatment for fibroids and the best doctor for fibroid treatments.
Why A Fibroid Diagnosis Sounds Scary
When a woman hears the words tumors and uterus used in the same sentence, it tends to freak them out a bit. Their minds automatically think about cancer and other unpleasant scenarios, but uterine fibroids are not as scary as they sound. They are not cancerous and are much more common than you might think. Statistics show that almost 80% of women have uterine fibroids by the time they reach their early fifties, but many of them do not have any symptoms, so they are unaware that they even have them.
The exact cause of these tumors is not known, but researchers do understand that genetics, lifestyle, and the hormone estrogen can influence their development and growth. Fibroids can cause a host of symptoms that can interrupt your life and even affect your ability to become pregnant. While fibroids can be an unwelcome development, there is no need to panic should you find you have them.
What Should You Do If You Learn You Have Fibroids?
Your best course of action is to learn all you can about your fibroids, how many you have, and their location. It is also important to understand all the treatment options available and what they involve so you can decide the best fibroid treatment for you.
Most likely, you learned you have fibroids from your OB/GYN, and they may have even told you that your only option is to have surgery. This news might be devastating to someone who desires to have a family in the future.
Unless you have cancer and surgical intervention is necessary, you have another option that is safe, effective and does not involve surgery. Let’s take a look at the options available for the treatment of fibroids.
- Sometimes, different medications can help you manage the pain, bloating, and discomfort that fibroids can cause. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be enough to help you manage pain when it arises, and some doctors will prescribe an IUD or oral birth control pills to help control heavy bleeding.
GnRH medications can help slow down the growth of fibroids, but they can be used only temporarily and not longer than 6 months. These types of medications only work as long as you are taking them, and as soon as you stop, the fibroids will start to grow again. They can also send your body into early menopause and cause other undesirable side effects.
- Surgical Interventions
- Depending on the severity of the symptoms you are experiencing, your OB/GYN may suggest eliminating the fibroids through surgery.
- The fibroids are removed one at a time using one of several available myomectomy techniques. The main challenge with treating fibroids with this method is that it is not always effective. Many women who have this surgery require additional surgery within 5 years because the entire fibroid is accessible and cut out, it can grow back, and if it is deeply embedded into the uterine wall, its removal will leave damage that compromises its strength and future functionality. Many doctors will only deliver babies using the cesarean section technique if their patient has previously had myomectomy surgery.
The other thing you need to think about when considering a myomectomy is that if the doctor begins the procedure and runs into complications they might convert the surgery to a hysterectomy. You will be required to sign consent forms stating you understand this and other risks before they put you under general anesthesia. You might go to sleep thinking you are having a myomectomy and awaken to discover you no longer have a uterus or the ability to have children.
- During this surgery, your uterus is eliminated from your body, as is your capacity to conceive and carry a baby. Uterine fibroids are the top reason that women in the U.S. have hysterectomies and represent a large number of the 650,000 uterus-removing procedures that are done each year.
Removing the uterus can result in both short and long-term complications. The normal risks of surgery include bleeding, infection, blood clots, etc., and the long-term effects of the removal of a vital organ. The uterus is part of a structure and, when removed can create a gap that causes other organs to shift around or be displaced. Additionally, research in recent years has discovered that the uterus is not only important for reproductive purposes but is also tied to a woman’s coronary health, memory retention, metabolic health, and other conditions.
- Uterine Ablation
- This procedure may be suggested by your OB/GYN to stop heavy period bleeding, but you need to know that ablation does nothing to get rid of fibroids. If your bleeding is a symptom of these uterine growths, the relief will not be permanent. An ablation destroys the lining of the uterus, which can help manage the symptoms of heavy bleeding but it does irreversible damage to your uterus and renders you infertile while only providing you with temporary relief.
Non-Surgical Uterine Fibroid Embolization
After comparing all other available options, you will see that uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is the best fibroid treatment for many reasons, including:
- It will permanently eliminate fibroids from any location, even if they are embedded deep within the muscular wall;
- It will treat all, even large fibroids in one procedure;
- It does not require general anesthesia;
- It is an outpatient procedure and does not involve a stay in the hospital;
- You do not lose your uterus;
- You will go home the same day with just a band-aid as proof of the procedure;
- Recovery averages between 3 and 7 days;
- Most patients report complete relief of their symptoms within three months of the procedure.
UFE works to eliminate fibroids by blocking the blood supply that feeds them and keeps them alive. After losing their lifeline, they will begin to shrink and die, taking their nasty symptoms with them.
Where Can I Go To Find Help With Fibroid Intervention That Does Not Involve Surgery?
The Atlanta Fibroid Center was the very first in the state to receive the prestigious recognition as a Fibroid Center Of Excellence hailing its commitment to exceptional care and expertise in the field of fibroid treatment.
With over 25 years of experience and more than 10,000 UFE procedures to his credit, Dr. John Lipman has the distinction of being the pioneer in Georgia for performing UFE, and his extensive experience in uterine fibroid embolization is now globally recognized.
Trust Your Fibroid Care To The Atlanta Fibroid Center And The Best Doctors For Fibroid Treatment
Dr. Lipman has received accolades from thousands of women for his compassionate and caring demeanor and expertise in treating their fibroids and restoring their quality of life. Fibroids can affect any woman, even TV reality stars like Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey from RHOA (Real Housewives Of Atlanta). Porsha described UFE as a “life-changing procedure,” and after suffering a miscarriage due to fibroids and fibroid regrowth after a myomectomy, she talked about holding a seminar for women along with Dr. Lipman to make other women aware of the UFE option and let them know the procedure preserves your fertility. She also said she hoped to have more children in the future, and she is thrilled that she met Dr. Lipman.
Cynthia Bailey from RHOA did her own research after being offered a hysterectomy to treat her debilitating uterine fibroids, which had grown so large that she looked like she might be pregnant. She found out about UFE and Dr. John Lipman, and three months after having UFE, her menstrual flow was so much shorter and lighter that she said it was “like a miracle”. She said she spent two days with some cramping as she recovered at home and then was back on set filming.
Dr. Lipman and Dr. Ermentrout at The Atlanta Fibroid Center have over forty years of collective experience successfully treating uterine fibroids without surgery. Take a look at some of the many patient testimonials from Atlanta Fibroid Center patients and do your research. Many OB/GYNs will not inform you of the UFE option because they are not UFE trained and do not offer this procedure, causing many patients to believe they have no alternatives other than surgery.
Come speak to the experts at Atlanta Fibroid Center and find out more about why UFE is the best fibroid treatment and receives the highest quality of care from the best fibroid doctors. Let us help you become free of fibroid tumors so you can live life to the fullest.