Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids Specialists
Noncancerous growths in the uterus called uterine fibroids can develop during a woman's childbearing years. East Bay Women’s Health can treat women in the area of Oakland and Alameda, California who have developed uterine fibroids.

Uterine Fibroids Q & A

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop inside the uterus. They often appear during childbearing years. Uterine fibroids can range in size from small and almost undetectable to bulky masses that can distort and enlarge the uterus. A person can have a single fibroid or multiple and, in some cases, the multiple fibroids can swell the uterus so that it reaches the rib cage. Many women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives but may not know it unless they are discovered during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

Many women who have fibroids don't have  any signs or symptoms. Some women, however, can have symptoms that are influenced by the location, size, and number of fibroids. In women who have symptoms, the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pelvic pressure or pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Backache or leg pains
  • Menstrual periods lasting more than a week

A person should see a doctor if they have lasting pelvic pain, prolonged painful periods, spotting or bleeding between periods, or difficulty emptying their bladder.

What are the causes of uterine fibroids?

Clinical research has pointed to genetic changes and hormones as two possible reasons behind the development of uterine fibroids. The growth patterns of uterine fibroids can grow slow, fast, or remain the same size. Some fibroids go through growth spurts, and some may shrink on their own. There are factors that can increase a woman's risk of developing fibroids.

  • Age – As women age, fibroids become more common especially during the 30s and 40s and through menopause.
  • Family history - Having a family member with fibroids can increase a woman’s chance of getting them herself. A woman’s risk of developing fibroids increases by about three times if her mother has a history of fibroids.
  • Ethnicity - African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.
  • Weight - Women who are overweight are at higher risk for fibroids. For women who are obese, the risk is two to three times greater than average.
  • Eating habits - Eating a lot of red meat and ham has been linked with a higher risk of fibroids.
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