Pelvic Pain: Is it a Uterine Fibroid, or Something More Serious?

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Pelvic pain is a common condition affecting women and can be caused by a number of conditions.  So, how do you know if your pelvic pain is being caused by uterine fibroids or something more serious?

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that develop on the wall of the uterus.  In many cases, fibroid tumors do not cause any symptoms at all and will shrink or disappear on their own.  However, in other cases, fibroid tumors may cause symptoms such as heavy and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, frequent urination and constipation.  The fibroids’ size, location, and number can all influence the signs and symptoms.  Fibroid tumors can be diagnosed via a routine pelvic examination and confirmed with other screening tests including ultrasound, MRI, hysteroscopy, hysterosonography or hysterosalpingography.   In some cases, fibroid tumors can be treated using medications to shrink the tumors.  In other cases, minimally invasive procedures such as hysteroscopy can be used to remove them.

Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of fibroid tumors such as pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding are similar to other, more serious gynecologic conditions such as certain types of cancers and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).  This is why it is very important to make your doctor aware of your symptoms and any changes in your symptoms if you are experiencing pelvic pain or heavy menstrual bleeding.  Your OBGYN can then perform a pelvic examination and order any other diagnostic tests that are necessary to rule out serious health issues and accurately diagnose your condition.  Once you have a confirmed diagnosis, you and your doctor can determine the best course of treatment to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.

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