One of the most common gynecological issues among ladies of all ages is the presence of fibroids. When discovered, your doctor might cause you a lot of unnecessary panic, or she might lead you to believe they’re nothing to worry about. Somewhere in the middle is the most appropriate response– you want to keep an eye on them, but most of the time they are benign. And you don’t always need surgery.
Fibroids are made up of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. The cells multiply rapidly and develop into small tumors that can be found inside the uterus, inside the uterine wall, or outside the uterus. Fibroids can be present for a long time without ever causing discomfort or pain, or they may be quite painful. Sometimes the tumors will go away on their own, or sometimes they can linger for years before they’re discovered purely by accident.
When your doctor discovers a fibroid, it seems reasonable to panic. You hear the word “tumor” and your first response is probably to get it out of your body ASAP. However, less than half a percent of all fibroids turn out to be cancerous (less than 0.5%). If your doctor sees a fibroid on your ultrasound, you will need a recheck in a couple of months. If the fibroid is the same size, it’s probably not cancerous. If it has grown noticably larger, it will be flagged as suspicious. Suspicious fibroids will need to be removed. Benign fibroids that are not causing any pain or issues don’t need to be removed (but they of course can be). At our practice we go over your ultrasound results and talk with you at length. We discuss all your options and help you to make an informed decision.