If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids or are concerned you might have them, it’s natural to wonder how they’ll affect your life and whether they might resolve on their own. These noncancerous growths can trigger frustrating symptoms, including digestive problems, heavy periods, and urinary incontinence.
At his private practice in White Plains and Queens, New York, board-certified OB/GYN Daniel S. Kushner, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating fibroids. Our compassionate team knows how frustrating the symptoms associated with uterine fibroids can be, and we’re here to give you the information you need.
One common question our patients ask is whether uterine fibroids ever go away on their own. In this blog, we explore this common gynecologic issue, when intervention is necessary, and the treatments that can help.
What should I know about fibroids?
Fibroids affect millions of women in the United States. These noncancerous tumors develop in your uterus, varying in size from a tiny seed to larger than a grapefruit.
The exact reason women develop fibroids is still being studied. However, researchers believe several factors are involved, including genetics and rising estrogen and progesterone levels.
While they may cause discomfort and disruptive symptoms for many women, it's important to note that not all fibroids are the same, and their impact can differ from person to person based on location and size. Some women with fibroids don’t experience any symptoms at all.
For about 1%-2% of women with fibroids, the growths create bodily changes that contribute to infertility. This usually happens when the tumor causes physical issues that prevent access to the uterus, change the uterus shape, prevent access to the fallopian tubes, or limit blood supply.
Do fibroids disappear without treatment?
The answer to whether fibroids go away on their own is complicated. The short answer is sometimes. Small fibroids may shrink or disappear without intervention in some cases. Researchers believe this happens when estrogen levels drop, as in menopause.
However, this isn’t the case for all women. Only about 10% of fibroids get smaller or resolve on their own. The likelihood of this depends on numerous factors, such as their size, location, and individual circumstances. It's important to see a medical specialist to assess your unique situation and determine the most appropriate course of treatment.
What should I do if I’m worried about fibroids?
While it may be tempting to adopt a wait-and-see approach for fibroids, it's best to seek medical evaluation. Dr. Kushner helps you better understand the condition, any potential risks you face, and your treatment options.
Fibroids can cause a range of symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, urinary frequency, and fertility issues. Ignoring or neglecting symptoms can lead to worsening conditions and decreased quality of life.
Dr. Kushner, begins with a comprehensive evaluation to accurately diagnose your condition and develop a personalized fibroid treatment plan. The good news is that different treatment options exist for managing fibroids, and surgical treatment isn’t your only option.
Our team prioritizes giving our patients a choice of effective fibroid management options tailored to your specific needs, including:
In cases where fibroids are small, asymptomatic, or if you’re near menopause, watchful waiting may be the best initial approach. Dr. Kushner regularly monitors your condition to ensure any changes are addressed promptly.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, medications such as pain relievers, hormonal birth control, or medications containing gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists may be prescribed to ease your discomfort and minimize fibroid growth.
Minimally invasive procedures
Advanced techniques, including uterine artery embolization and endometrial ablation, are very effective in reducing fibroid symptoms without the need for major surgery. These minimally invasive procedures offer shorter recovery times and less disruption to your daily life.
For cases where fibroids are large, causing severe symptoms or affecting your fertility, Dr. Kushner may recommend surgical options such as myomectomy (fibroid removal) or hysterectomy (uterine removal). He carefully evaluates your situation to determine the most appropriate surgical approach.
If you’re concerned about fibroids, don’t wait to schedule an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Kushner at the New York office nearest you.