Fibroids are noncancerous muscular tumors that grow in the lining of a woman’s uterus. Although they’re very common and don’t always cause problems, fibroids can cause pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, or infertility. At Women’s Health Specialist in Los Gatos and Mountain View, California, Maureen Khoo, MD, FACOG, has many years of experience diagnosing and treating gynecological conditions like fibroids. She takes a personalized approach to care and works closely with you to design a treatment plan that alleviates your symptoms and improves your quality of life. To schedule an appointment, call the office closest to you or book online today.

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Fibroids, also called myomas, are a common gynecological condition. The noncancerous tumors vary in size, shape, and location. Fibroids may grow within the muscular tissue of the uterus, inside the uterus, or on the outside surface.

You may have one fibroid or several, and they may be as small as the eraser on your pencil or as large as a softball. Fibroids may start out tiny and grow slowly over time or rapidly increase in size.

You can develop fibroids at any age, but they’re most often diagnosed in women in their 30s and 40s.

What are the symptoms of fibroids?

Fibroid symptoms vary in type and severity. Your symptoms may depend on the size, number, and location of your tumors. Some women have no symptoms at all when they have fibroids.

With fibroids, you may experience:

  • Pain during your period
  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Pressure in your lower abdominal area
  • Infertility
  • Increase in abdominal girth

Fibroids also increase the risk of complications during pregnancy, including miscarriage and problems during labor and delivery.

How do I know if I have fibroids?

Many women may not know they have fibroids until they’re found during an annual gynecological exam. Dr. Khoo can feel the tumor during your pelvic exam.

To confirm a diagnosis and determine the size and location of your fibroids, Dr. Khoo may run various diagnostic tests such as:

  • Ultrasound testing
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Sonohysterography
  • Laparoscopy

Dr. Khoo may also request diagnostic imaging tests, such as an MRI or a CT scan, to monitor your fibroids.

How are fibroids treated?

Dr. Khoo works with you to develop the most effective treatment plan for your fibroids. If the fibroids are small and don’t cause symptoms, she may take a watch-and-wait approach by scheduling regular follow-up appointments to monitor their growth.

For women experiencing painful periods and heavy bleeding, Dr. Khoo prescribes hormonal birth control to minimize symptoms. She may also prescribe gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist to shrink the fibroid.

Dr. Khoo may also perform minimally invasive surgery to do a myomectomy, which is a procedure that removes the fibroids from the uterus. For women with no future pregnancy plans, she may recommend a hysterectomy.

Fibroids are common but can cause symptoms that affect your quality of life. To discuss treatment options with an experienced OB/GYN, call the office or request an appointment online today.