There are many misconceptions about fibroids making it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Let’s start with the facts. One half of American women will develop fibroids by age 50. You are 3 times more likely to develop fibroids if your mother or grandmother had them. African American women are 3 times more likely to get them versus Caucasian women. Now let’s debunk myths you may have heard.
MYTH: Fibroids increase the likelihood of developing cancer
This is a myth and totally false.Because fibroids are usually described as tumors, many people think they are cancerous or precancerous tumors. They are actually benign tumors. In fact, less than 1 in 1000 fibroids ever develop into cancer.
MYTH: If you have fibroids you will have heavy and painful periods
This is not true for all women.Some women will have symptoms that include painful heavy periods, but other women can have fibroids with no symptoms at all. Some symptoms can overlap with other types of conditions, so if you have backaches, constipation, or painful intercourse, see your OBGYN for a full evaluation in Rochester.
MYTH: Women with fibroids are infertile
Yes, this is partially true.A woman with fibroids may find it difficult to conceive and carry a baby to term, however NOT ALL fibroids affect fertility. Many women can carry a baby to full term and still have fibroids.It depends on the size, location, and number of fibroids. If they block the entrance to the uterus or are where the baby needs to develop, this can affect pregnancy. See your OBGYN to determine if infertility will be a problem for you.
MYTH: If you don’t have severe symptoms, don’t worry about your fibroids
If you have no symptoms with your fibroids, there is no need for treatment or removal. It is important however, to see your OBGYN on a regular basis to track their growth or any changes.
MYTH: The treatment for fibroids is a hysterectomy
This is false, and an outdated myth.Although many women opt for a hysterectomy, this is not the only one available to you. There are several non-surgical and less invasive procedures to remove or shrink your fibroids. Talk with your OBGYN about other fibroid treatment options including myomectomy and uterine fibroid embolization.
MYTH: Fibroids disappear after menopause
This is not true.We may wish this were true, but fibroids can increase or grow after menopause in some cases and women may need treatment.
Contact Women Gynecology & Childbirth Associates P.C. at (585) 244-3430 for additional ways to help you discern myths vs facts about fibroids or to learn more about treatments that may be right for you.