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What Are Uterine Fibroids, and What Can You Do about Them?

Approximately four out of five women have uterine fibroids by age 50, but many women show no symptoms and don’t even know they’re affected. Others, however, suffer painful symptoms and seek a way to minimize the effects. 

At the practice of Gae Rodke, MD, FACOG, located on the Upper West Side of New York City, you’ll find a caring and compassionate team focused on relieving pelvic pain and discomfort. If uterine fibroids are causing your health issues, you’ll be happy to know we can help!

Risk factors for uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are simply masses that grow on the uterine wall. These are typically benign, meaning they don’t increase your risk for cancer. Some women are more at risk for uterine fibroids. You’re at higher risk if:

Again, many women get fibroids and never even know. But if you’re plagued by symptoms that match up with fibroid growth, you should get checked out.

Types of uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are classified depending on where in or on your uterus they’re growing, and how they’re attached. There are several main types:

Intramural fibroids

The most common type of fibroid, these growths begin inside the muscle that makes up the inner wall of your uterus and can cause your womb to stretch out, producing a feeling of heaviness or fullness.

Subserosal fibroids

The outside of your uterus is called the serosa, and that’s where these growths emerge. Since they’re outside the womb, they can make your uterus look bigger on one side than the other. If the tumor has a stem connecting it to the serosa, it’s called a pedunculated fibroid.  

Submucosal fibroids

The least common type of fibroid, these growths begin to develop deep inside the myometrium, the middle muscle layer of your uterus. 

Symptoms of fibroids

Symptoms of uterine fibroids are often written off as due to other conditions, but you could experience any combination of the following symptoms and more:

Treating uterine fibroids

Genetics, diet, and hormones seem to be the largest factors that can affect fibroid growth and symptoms. The first you’re unable to do anything about. As far as the second, simple lifestyle changes help some women reduce their symptoms:

Finally, if your uterine fibroids are hormone-related, Dr. Rodke can help by prescribing oral contraceptives or starting you on hormone therapy to stabilize your hormone levels.  

If uterine fibroids are causing you ongoing pain or discomfort, there’s hope. Learn more by calling Dr. Rodke’s office at 212-496-9800 or by booking an appointment online today.

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