Every year, thousands of women are diagnosed with uterine fibroids. From those located in the uterus to those on the exterior, they can range in size, number, and severity and cause many symptoms.
While most require treatment to mitigate symptoms and improve fertility, some will shrink on their own, and others will calcify.
Calcified fibroids occur when the tissue of a fibroid begins to die off and calcify. This can happen for various reasons, including hormonal changes or inadequate blood supply to the fibroid.
Calcified fibroids can cause various symptoms, such as pelvic pain, discomfort during intercourse, and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed with calcified fibroids or are seeking more information, we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Let’s discuss calcified fibroids in more detail, including symptoms, treatment options, and answers to important questions, including “Can calcified fibroids become cancerous? Or “Do calcified fibroids need to be removed?”
What Is a Calcified Fibroid?
A calcified fibroid, also known as fibroid degeneration, occurs when the tissue of a uterine fibroid begins to die off and calcify.
This process occurs when calcium is deposited in the fibroid tissue, causing it to harden and become less flexible.
Calcified fibroids can occur in all different types of fibroids, including subserosal, intramural, and submucosal.
While calcified fibroids are usually not life-threatening, they can cause various symptoms to pay attention to.
Symptoms of Calcified Fibroids
The symptoms of calcified fibroids can vary depending on the size and location of the fibroid. Some women with calcified fibroids may experience no symptoms at all, while others may experience one or more of the following:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pain during intercourse
- Urinary symptoms including frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder
Complications with fertility or pregnancy are possible with calcified fibroids and may include
- Premature placenta detachment
- Premature labor
- Abnormal presentation
Can Calcified Fibroids Become Cancerous?
Calcified fibroids are usually benign, which means they are noncancerous.
However, in rare cases, a calcified fibroid may become cancerous. This is known as a calcified leiomyosarcoma, a type of cancer arising from the uterus’s smooth muscle tissue.
The risk of a fibroid becoming cancerous is very low, estimated to be less than 1%.
However, it’s important to note that a leiomyosarcoma can be challenging to diagnose, as it can resemble a benign fibroid on standard ultrasound or MRI imaging tests.
If you have a calcified fibroid or are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to talk to a fibroid specialist to determine the best course of action for your specific situation, which may include monitoring or removing the calcified fibroids for further evaluation and testing.
Do Calcified Fibroids Need To Be Removed?
The short answer is that it depends. A personalized care plan is highly recommended for all fibroid types, even calcified fibroids.
Most calcified fibroids do not require treatment, since they’re considered at the end stages of their lifecycle, but each fibroid diagnosis is different.
Generally, if your calcified fibroids are symptomatic and causing a detriment to your everyday life, you should consider minimally invasive treatment to remove them.
A “wait and watch” approach may be followed if they’re asymptomatic.
If you’re living with calcified fibroids, you should consult a fibroid specialist to determine if treatment to remove them is right for you.
Calcified Uterine Fibroid Treatment
The treatment for calcified fibroids depends on the size, location, and symptoms of the fibroids as well as the patient’s overall health.
The most common calcified uterine fibroid treatment includes
In rare cases, especially for those who experience symptoms, calcified fibroids may require surgical intervention through a myomectomy or hysterectomy.
It is essential to discuss the risks and benefits of each treatment option with one of our fibroid specialists to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.
Comprehensive Diagnosis and Treatment for Calcified Fibroids in Houston
If you have been diagnosed with calcified fibroids or are experiencing chronic symptoms, visit our Houston-based office for further evaluation and a personalized treatment plan.
Many minimally invasive options are available to help you eliminate symptoms and start feeling better sooner.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule your consultation. This is your first step to a fibroid-free future.