Even in normal times, life is stressful. But when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic? That stress is multiplied and magnified to entirely new levels. Of course, that’s a problem for so many reasons. But, for our purposes, we’ll just focus on one: stress may increase your fibroid risk. In a minute, we’ll explore this idea further. First, however, we’ll give you a quick fibroid overview so we’re all on the same page.
What are fibroids?
Fibroid tumors are firm, muscular, uterine growths. We classify (and name them) based on their location in or on your uterus. If they’re inside your uterus, they’re called submucosal. When they grow on your outer uterine surface, they’re subserosal. Fibroids in the muscles of your uterine wall are intramural, and fibroids that grow like stalks outside your uterus are pedunculated.
Fibroids also vary widely in size. Some are so small they go undetected, or cause no symptoms. But others are much larger, or develop in groups. When this happens, you’re likely to experience troubling symptoms such as pain, heavy periods, anemia, pregnancy complications or even infertility. That’s why we recommend treating your fibroids with a minimally invasive procedure such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization. And it’s also why we’re helping you understand why you get fibroids in the first place.
Why do Fibroids Develop?
Unfortunately, we don’t truly know what causes fibroid development. But we do know they impact black women more than any other group. And, research now suggests that stress may be associated with an increased fibroid risk, in addition to other factors we’ve already identified, including family history, and exposure to the chemicals within hair relaxers.
In combination, these factors can help you understand your fibroid risk. And understanding that stress increases your risk means now is a good moment to check in with your reproductive health. If you notice symptoms such as pelvic pain, frequent urination, or long and/or heavy periods, don’t wait. Seek help right away from a fibroid specialist. Don’t want to leave your house? No problem! Our Houston Fibroids team is offering remote fibroid consultations, via the secure Doxy platform. But we can also see you in our office if you need a procedure. Now, what kind of procedure will depend on your selected treatment preference. So let’s explore your best fibroid treatment plans.
How Should I Treat Fibroids?
All too often, you’ll hear that hysterectomy is the best fibroid treatment. But that’s actually not true for every woman. In fact, many women can find relief from fibroid symptoms with UFE, a minimally invasive procedure which cuts off fibroid blood supply. This effectively kills the tumors. All without surgery, and all while preserving your uterus!
Of course, some women may prefer a myomectomy—the surgical removal of individual fibroids. If this is your choice, just exercise caution. If your doctor wants to perform laparoscopic surgery, just say no to morcellators. They majorly increase your risk for uterine cancer.
What we really want you to understand is this. We’re living in stressful times. And that can hurt your health in so many ways. But don’t feel like you need to delay treating pressing health issues, just to avoid Coronavirus. There are real, concrete ways we can help you manage fibroids, all while preserving social distancing. So, if you’re in pain, reach out for help. Request a Telemedicine appointment with our fibroid specialists and we’ll put you on the path to relief. All while protecting you from unnecessary surgeries!
Sources: Journal of Women’s Health Issues. Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.