F is for... Fibroids
Fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in the uterus. They are quite common, with around 20-80% of women and those with a uterus developing them during their reproductive years. While many of those with fibroids don't experience any symptoms, others may experience heavy or painful periods, abdominal pain, or pressure in the pelvis. In some cases, fibroids can also cause infertility or complications during pregnancy.
If you are concerned about fibroids, there are several steps you can take. Firstly, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it's a good idea to see your doctor. They can perform an exam and may order tests such as an ultrasound or MRI to determine if you have fibroids and how large they are.
Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting, medication, or surgery. In some cases, fibroids may shrink on their own or not cause any significant problems, so your doctor may simply recommend monitoring them over time.
If you do require treatment, there are several options available. Medications can help shrink fibroids or alleviate symptoms. In some cases, minimally invasive procedures such as uterine artery embolization or focused ultrasound may be recommended. Surgery, such as a myomectomy or hysterectomy, may be necessary for larger or more problematic fibroids.
It's important to note that while fibroids are common and usually benign, it's still important to talk to your doctor if you have concerns.