Fibroids develop from the smooth muscle that makes up the outer portion of the uterus. Abnormalities in the tissue may cause fibroids to grow. Some are tiny, while others may grow larger than a softball. Also known as myomas, fibroids are rarely cancerous although they may visibly look similar to a tumor.
Dr. Adams will often find fibroids during a pelvic examination. Larger ones can be felt through the abdominal wall, but Dr. Adams will have to discover the smaller ones during your pelvic exam. Most women have fibroids at some point in their lives, but they often dissolve and are reabsorbed by the body without causing any outward symptoms.
The location of the fibroids and their overall size will determine whether or not they should be surgically removed. When the fibroids are first detected, Dr. Adams will want to know if they’re causing any discomfort. Large ones that lie next to blood vessels or nerves may cause pain and discomfort. Smaller ones, however, may grow and then shrink before they can cause any obvious symptoms.
Small fibroids will often shrink before Dr. Adams has a chance to treat them. If fibroids are detected, Dr. Adams will allow them to remain in place and check them in a few weeks to see if they're still there. If they can still be felt, or if they've grown larger, he may choose to remove them.
Large fibroids can put pressure on nearby organs, causing damage to them. In fact, fibroids that grow excessively large may begin damaging your uterus. If there are several small fibroids located on the uterus or a few large ones, Dr. Adams may want to remove them to allow the uterus and other reproductive organs to function normally.
If you’re known to have fibroids and have difficulty conceiving, Dr. Adams may recommend removing the fibroids to see if that allows for a pregnancy to occur. If the fibroids are numerous and keep returning, another treatment option will be considered.
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