By age 50, as many as 80% of women develop a fibroid, which is a benign muscular tumor that grows in the uterus. Fibroids don’t always cause symptoms or affect your health; however, for some women, fibroids can interfere with their quality of life. Board-certified gynecologist, Andrey Petrikovets, MD, FACOG, with offices in Downtown Los Angeles and Glendale, California, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of fibroids. For an evaluation, call the office or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
Fibroids, which are also referred to as leiomyomas, are noncancerous tumors that grow in the walls of the uterus. Fibroids are very common and affect anywhere from 20-80% of women during their childbearing years.
The benign muscular tumors can vary in size and may be as small as an apple seed or as large as a cantaloupe. You can also have a single fibroid or several.
Researchers are still investigating what causes fibroids to develop but theorize it has to do with hormones and genetics. You may be more at risk of developing fibroids if they run in your family.
Fibroids don’t always cause symptoms, and you may not be aware you have them until they’re discovered during your annual gynecological exam. If you do experience symptoms related to your fibroid, it may be due to its size and location, as well as the number of fibroids you have.
Common symptoms include:
Depending on its location, fibroids may also affect your fertility.
Dr. Petrikovets may be able to determine the presence of a fibroid during your pelvic exam. To confirm his suspicions, and also assess the size and location of your fibroid, Dr. Petrikovets recommends diagnostic testing, such as an ultrasound or MRI.
Treatment for fibroids depends on the severity of your symptoms. If your fibroid isn’t causing symptoms, Dr. Petrikovets may suggest merely monitoring it.
However, if your fibroid is causing symptoms that interfere with your daily life, Dr. Petrikovets may suggest medications to shrink the fibroid, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist or a progestin-releasing intrauterine device.
Dr. Petrikovets also offers uterine artery embolization as a treatment option for fibroids, which is a surgical procedure that cuts off the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink.
Dr. Petrikovets may also suggest surgically removing your fibroid, which he may do by using robotic-assisted surgery to minimize scarring, pain, and recovery time. Surgically removing your fibroid doesn’t guarantee you won’t develop another fibroid. If you have no future pregnancy plans, Dr. Petrikovets may also suggest a hysterectomy to prevent a recurrence.
To schedule an evaluation to discuss your treatment options for fibroids, call the office of Andrey Petrikovets, MD, FACOG, or book an appointment online today.