If you experience pressure in your abdomen, long bouts of constipation, heavy menstrual periods, and other strange or unexplainable symptoms, ask a gynecologist to examine you for uterine fibroids soon. Uterine fibroids are tumors that grow inside or outside the uterine lining. Without treatment, uterine fibroids can cause a wide range of symptoms. Learn about uterine fibroids and why you need to see a gynecologist about them below.
Why Do Women Get Uterine Fibroids?
The uterine lining, or endometrial lining, contains blood vessels, cells, and other substances that prepare your body for pregnancy or menstruation. If the cells in the lining become compromised or damaged by changes in your hormones or genes, they clump together and form growths called uterine fibroids.
Your uterine lining makes new cells throughout the month. The cells receive their nutrients directly from the blood vessels in the lining. If too many cells grow in the lining, they form tiny clumps of tissue or growths. The growths can remain small and painless, or they can grow big enough to increase the size of the uterus.
Uterine fibroids are generally cancer-free, or benign. However, the tumors can wreak havoc on your reproductive health and/or body if they grow too large or too numerous inside the uterus. Some women will experience pressure inside their abdomen and bowels from the growths. Other women may experience heavier-than-normal menstrual periods each month. Cramps and other symptoms may accompany the heavy periods.
If you think uterine fibroids caused your strange symptoms, reach out to a gynecologist for an explanation today.
How Can a Gynecologist Diagnose and Treat You?
A gynecologist must examine you carefully before they diagnose you with uterine growths. Uterine fibroids aren't the only problems that can cause strange symptoms in women. Endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, and other women's health issues can also trigger painful periods, constipation, and other symptoms in women. One of the tests a gynecologist may use to diagnose your condition is a Pap test, or Pap smear.
A Pap test allows a gynecologist to screen the cells in your uterine lining for things that may potentially change them or their functions. If the test detects changes in your cells, a gynecologist can send the results to a laboratory for further analysis or testing.
If you have uterine growths in your uterus, a gynecologist can wait to see if the tumors shrink in size and become painless. If the growths are too large, grow outside the uterine lining, or grow elsewhere in the uterus, a doctor may surgically remove them. A gynecologist will discuss the best treatment options with you during your visit.
Find the information you need about uterine fibroids by consulting a gynecology physician.