Myths and Facts About Uterine Fibroids

Nov 29, 2022
Myths and Facts About Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas, are uterine growths. They’re very common, but unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about what they are and how they’re treated. Read on to learn the facts behind those myths.

Fibroids are benign growths in the uterus that can cause a variety of problems, especially heavy and long periods. While they’re a common occurrence, there are a lot of myths surrounding this condition. 

Yosef Golowa, MD, FSIR, double-board certified in diagnostic radiology and vascular/interventional radiology, is an expert when it comes to diagnosing and treating uterine fibroids. He specializes in innovative, effective treatments at his practice in Midtown Manhattan, New York, and he’s on a mission to debunk the myths surrounding uterine fibroids.  

Here, he shares important information about uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas, to help you separate fact from fiction.

Myth: Uterine fibroids are cancerous

Fact: Uterine fibroids are benign growths. 

Although the thought of any abnormal growth can make you wonder if you’re dealing with a cancerous tumor, it’s important to remember that uterine fibroids aren’t cancerous. Benign growths may grow larger and cause uncomfortable symptoms — some fibroids can grow as large as a grapefruit! — but they don’t invade surrounding tissues like cancer does.

Myth: Uterine fibroids only affect your uterus

Fact: While uterine fibroids won’t grow into your urinary and bowel tissue, they can grow large enough that they press against these organs. 

If a uterine fibroid presses on your bladder, you may struggle with either frequent urination or trouble urinating. Likewise, you may struggle with constipation if a fibroid presses on your bowels.

Myth: Uterine fibroids require a hysterectomy

Fact: In the not-so-distant past, a hysterectomy was a common method for eliminating fibroids, but that’s not your only option any longer. 

Sometimes, hormone therapy or medication can help. If your fibroid keeps growing, today’s medical and technological advances mean Dr. Golowa can treat uterine fibroids with a safe, minimally invasive procedure that allows you to keep your uterus and your fertility.

During uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), we make a pinhole-sized puncture in your groin, which gives us access to the artery that feeds blood to your fibroid. Using specialized X-ray equipment, we locate the artery and inject embolic material, which closes up the vessel so blood flow to the fibroid ceases. Without continued blood flow to the fibroid, it starts to shrink. 

Unlike a major surgery, UFE has a shorter recovery time, less postoperative pain, fewer risks, and lower complications 一 and no scars! 

Myth: Only older women get fibroids 

Fact: Many women develop a uterine fibroid in their childbearing years.

If your fibroid is small, however, you just might not realize you have one unless it grows or you develop symptoms. About 26 million American women between ages 15 and 50 have at least one fibroid, and about 15 million of these women have noticeable symptoms.

Myth: You can easily tell if you have fibroids

Fact: While you might suspect you have fibroids, you can’t know for sure unless you have a pelvic exam and diagnostic imaging to confirm it.

That’s because many fibroid symptoms overlap with other conditions that affect your pelvis. Some of the common symptoms of fibroids that can mimic other conditions include heavy periods, long periods, back pain, urinary frequency, constipation, and fatigue.

Get relief from uterine fibroids without surgery

Don’t let untreated uterine fibroids keep you from living your best life. From abdominal pain to heavy periods, we know that fibroids aren’t ever easy to manage on your own. We can help.

Nonsurgical treatment for your fibroids is just a call or click away. Speak to someone at our office by calling 212-991-9991, or you can request an appointment online through this website.