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Will Fibroids Resolve on Their Own?

Fibroids are benign tumors that grow in or on the uterus but don’t always produce symptoms. If they do, those can range from heavier-than-normal menstrual cycles to infertility.

Board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Hany H Ahmed diagnoses and treats all types of irregular bleeding at his practice in Houston, Texas, including that caused by fibroids.

Because fibroids can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, many women want to know if they resolve on their own or require medical treatment. Dr. Ahmed takes this opportunity to provide that information and more so you can rest easy.

What are uterine fibroids?

Fibroids, or leiomyomas, are growths of muscle and other tissues that form in or on the wall of the uterus. They’re the most common type of noncancerous tumor in women.

Fibroids may appear as a single nodule or in a cluster of nodules ranging from just 1 millimeter to more than 20 centimeters (8 inches) in diameter.

Uterine fibroids differ in appearance depending on where they’re located and how they attach themselves to the tissue:

Fibroids affect about 40%-80% of people who still have a uterus. They occur most commonly in women ages 30-50, are less common in those who’ve entered perimenopause or menopause, and generally don’t appear in young girls who aren’t yet menstruating.

The cause of fibroids isn’t known, but doctors believe the female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone play a role. Studies show fibroids tend to grow when levels of these hormones rise, such as during pregnancy, and shrink when levels are low, as in perimenopause.

Symptoms of uterine fibroids

Small fibroids usually don’t cause any symptoms, and you may not even know you have them. They require no treatment other than regular observation to ensure they’re not growing larger.

Larger fibroids can produce a variety of symptoms, including:

The symptoms usually stabilize or go away during perimenopause and after menopause because hormone levels decline.

Will fibroids resolve on their own?

Only about 10% of fibroids, no matter your age, shrink on their own. The rest grow larger or remain the same size. If you’re not having symptoms, or if your symptoms are mild, you may not require treatment. However, if you’re symptomatic, you may want to get them removed.

Treatment for fibroids depends on type, size, location, and the severity of your symptoms. Treatment options include medication such as hormonal birth control measures and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, which shrink the tumors.

Many surgical techniques also address fibroids; the type you choose depends, in part, on whether you wish to have children. Myomectomy is a common surgery that allows Dr. Ahmed to remove the fibroids, though the specifics depend on how he accesses the fibroids for removal.

If you’re experiencing irregular bleeding or other signs of fibroid development, you should visit our office for an evaluation. To get started, call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahmed, or book online today.

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