Multiple Uterine Fibroids

You may be familiar with a common condition that many women experience in their lifetime called uterine fibroids. These non-cancerous growths are often referred to as leiomyomas, or myomas for short.

No one really knows the exact reason for their formation, but they do know that excess hormones promote their growth. Today, we are going to talk about where they can be found, the manner in which they grow, and what can happen if a woman has multiple fibroids in her uterus.

Can You Have Multiple Uterine Fibroids At The Same Time?

Fibroids can range in number and size, and it is possible to have a single fibroid or multiple fibroids. Some of them are tiny, and others can reach the size of a grapefruit or even bigger.

Fibroids are put into groups depending on where and how they grow, and a woman can have fibroids from more than one of these groups growing in different locations within her uterus at the same time.

Fibroids that grow inside the uterus on its lining are called submucosal; fibroids that grow inside the muscle layer are intramural; and those that grow on the outside of the uterus are subserosal fibroids. Fibroids can also grow in a way that they are directly attached, or somewhat embedded, within the area where they are growing, or if they grow from a small stem, they are pedunculated fibroids.

It is possible for a woman to not only have multiple fibroids in her uterus but to have more than one type. A case study written about an 18-year-old girl shared that she not only had an extremely large fibroid that made her appear pregnant, but she had all three types of fibroids growing in different locations in her uterus.

A uterus with multiple fibroids
A uterus with multiple fibroids (round, black circles in the uterus)

Are Multiple Fibroids Dangerous?

Fibroids themselves are not inherently dangerous, but they can create symptoms that disrupt their hosts’ lives, cause rifts in their relationships, damage their careers, and lead to other serious health issues.

When a fibroid grows to a significant size, it can distort both the internal and external structures of the uterus. In rare cases, they can reach such a large size that they can inhabit the entire abdominal area. A large fibroid or multiple fibroids that are growing together can cause the abdomen to protrude, and it may appear as if the woman were pregnant.

Fibroids can cause symptoms such as heavy, excessive blood flow during menstruation, pressure in the pelvic region, and pain during intercourse. Chronic blood loss can lead to a life-threatening condition called anemia, so while the fibroids themselves are not a danger, the heavy bleeding they cause can be.

Additionally, if there are a large number of fibroids or fibroids that have grown substantially in size, they can begin to exert pressure on other organs or nerves. For instance, multiple subserosal fibroids can begin to press on the bladder, causing the patient to have to make frequent bathroom trips, which can keep them from getting a good night’s sleep. If located on the back side of the uterus, it can lean on a nerve and cause shooting pains down the legs and back pain.

Sometimes the symptoms that are associated with multiple fibroids or those that have gotten bigger are mistaken for other conditions. Most people associate back pain with sciatic nerve issues, not uterine fibroids. That is why having your case reviewed by a doctor who specializes in fibroid treatment is essential. An accurate diagnosis can prevent needless suffering and expedite treatment.

Depending on where the fibroids are growing, they can be dangerous during pregnancy. Fibroids grow larger when exposed to excess estrogen, and the first trimester of pregnancy can promote significant growth in existing fibroids. Multiple fibroids that are growing on the uterine lining can be dangerous to a growing fetus because they can take up space meant for the baby and they can also steal some or all of its vital blood supply.

Big or multiple fibroids in certain locations can affect fertility and prevent conception from occurring, so they could be categorized as “dangerous” to those who wish to conceive.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization in Atlanta, GA

What Is The Treatment For Multiple Fibroids?

If you are diagnosed with fibroids and are experiencing painful symptoms, you have an option for treatment that does not involve surgery. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is the best treatment to eliminate multiple fibroids.

Chances are you will not hear about this option from your OB/GYN because they provide surgical treatments like myomectomy or hysterectomy. These two surgeries both have a higher risk factor and a longer recovery time when compared to UFE, and neither is without its shortcomings or its long-term side effects.

Often, a surgeon is unable to access and remove the whole fibroid during a myomectomy when it is embedded in an inconvenient location. Many women experience regrowth of the fibroids, which they have to deal with during another surgery. A hysterectomy removes the patient’s uterus, which can cause both immediate and ongoing complications and removes the possibility of a future pregnancy.

UFE is done by a specially trained interventional radiologist in an outpatient procedure. It involves blocking off the blood supply that the fibroids desperately need to live and grow. It can treat multiple fibroids at the same time and multiple different types of fibroids, regardless of how deeply they are growing. The procedure has a 90% rate of effectiveness in treating all types of fibroids and reaching them regardless of where they are located. UFE is definitely worth considering before you choose to undergo invasive surgery.

UFE takes about an hour to do, and you can go home the same day with only a bandaid on your inner thigh as evidence of the procedure. Most women recover from the procedure within a week and are back to their normal routine, unlike after a surgical myomectomy or hysterectomy, which requires a recovery time of between four and eight weeks, depending on the nature of the surgery. Some women find their symptoms greatly relieved as early as their first period after the procedure, and the majority report that by their third menstrual cycle, they feel like a new person.

UFE does not compromise your uterus, and many women have successfully become pregnant after their fibroids shrink and die.

Where Can I Get Help For Multiple Uterine Fibroids?

The Atlanta Fibroid Center has been treating women with fibroids and adenomyosis for over 25 years, helping them find relief from painful and often debilitating symptoms. Their reputation for excellence and focus on patient well-being brings women from all over the world to seek treatment from this highly skilled team of experts.

Whether you have one fibroid or multiple uterine fibroids, if your symptoms are interrupting your life, contact the Atlanta Fibroid Center for a consultation. You deserve to feel your best all the time, and we would love to help make that happen. There is no reason to schedule your life around your fibroid symptoms when there is a safe, effective, and quick non-surgical treatment that can bring you relief. Contact us today and let’s talk about UFE and if it might be a good fit for you.

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