Many women have fibroids in their uterus without knowing it, as these benign growths often don’t cause any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms of uterine fibroids, like heavy menstrual bleeding, expert gynecologist Noreen Kamal-Mostafavi, MD, in Staten Island, New York, can help. She offers a range of effective treatments, including both noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures. Call the office and speak with a friendly team member to find out more or schedule an appointment online today.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids (leiomyomas or myomas) are noncancerous growths in your uterus. Fibroids can be so tiny that they can’t be seen with the naked eye, or form growths that are big enough to expand your uterus. You might have one or many uterine fibroids of different sizes.
You can have fibroids without being aware of it because they often cause no symptoms. Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi might find them during a routine exam, or if they do start causing symptoms you might experience:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Longer periods
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Frequent urination
- Problems emptying your bladder
- Leg pain
It’s not common, but uterine fibroids can sometimes cause severe pain.
How are fibroids diagnosed?
If you have symptoms of uterine fibroids, Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi performs a pelvic exam to feel for abnormalities. If there’s anything present, an ultrasound scan can confirm. In some cases, you might need to undergo other diagnostic tests, such as:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Shows the location and size of your fibroids in more detail.
Also called a saline infusion sonogram, this procedure uses sterile saline to expand your uterus.
This procedure uses a dye that shows up your uterus and fallopian tubes on an X-ray.
To perform a hysteroscopy, Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi inserts a slender instrument called a hysteroscope into your uterus.
Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi might also order blood tests to check for problems like anemia that could result from excessive menstrual bleeding.
How are fibroids treated?
If your uterine fibroids aren’t causing any problems, you don’t need to take any action. Fibroids aren’t harmful or cancerous and don’t usually affect fertility or pregnancy.
If you’re experiencing symptoms because of your uterine fibroids, Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi can prescribe medications that ease problems like heavy bleeding, pain, and pelvic pressure. Medications include:
- Oral contraceptives or progestins
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists
- Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD)
- Tranexamic acid
These medications don’t cure uterine fibroids but can help to shrink them. A noninvasive procedure called MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) could also help treat uterine fibroids.
If your fibroids are causing severe symptoms or aren’t responding to other treatments, there are several minimally invasive procedures Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi can perform, including:
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Uterine artery embolization
- Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy
- Abdominal myomectomy
- Endometrial ablation
Endometrial ablation and hysterectomy are only suitable for women who aren’t planning to have pregnancies in the future. With all these options except hysterectomy, which involves removing the uterus entirely, it’s possible for new uterine fibroids to grow in the future.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that could be due to uterine fibroids, call Noreen Kamal-Mostafavi, MD, today or book an appointment online.