Bloating and Fibroids: Understanding the Link

From the moment you start the journey into adulthood as a teen, your reproductive cycle is preparing you for possible childbirth, and your uterus is an incredibly important part of that process. This organ is where life literally develops after your eggs are fertilized, and is how you go through your monthly cycle when not having children. It’s highly adaptable, able to grow and recede as needed during pregnancy, and is essential for hormone regulation and production.

It can also be affected by several different medical conditions, including uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous growths that can develop in the uterine walls or outside of the pear-shaped organ. Different types of fibroids can develop for a variety of reasons, and they can present with a range of symptoms, including bloating. 

If you live in the Lawrenceville, Georgia, area, and you’re struggling with uterine fibroids, turn to the skilled team at Daniel Esteves, MD to get relief from bloating and many other symptoms.

Causes of uterine fibroids

Hormones play a major role in the development of uterine fibroids, but the actual cause is not entirely understood. Research shows that they develop when there are high levels of estrogen and progesterone (such as during pregnancy) and that it happens most often during your reproductive years, but there are other factors that affect your chances of getting them. These factors include obesity, not having children, family history, and late-onset menopause.

Fibroids can develop in the uterine lining (intramural), under the lining (submucosal), under the lining on the outer surface (subserosal), and even attached to your uterus with a stalk or stem (pedunculated).

How it can lead to bloating

Fibroids often cause a range of problems like bleeding between periods, pain, and a variety of issues related to digestion and urination, such as frequent urination, constipation, and abdominal distention. Which symptoms you deal with is associated with how big your fibroids are and where they’re located. Large fibroids can extend out of your pelvis and abdomen, causing bloating and pressure.

Treatment options

Regardless of which symptoms are present with uterine fibroids, there are several options for treatment:

Medications

Drugs that target hormone levels can be helpful in reducing fibroids. These include gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists, progestin-releasing intrauterine devices (IUDs), tranexamic acid, and birth control pills.

Noninvasive treatments

MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is a choice for treatment that doesn’t use incisions and can preserve the uterus while managing the illness.

Surgical treatments

Minimally invasive surgeries to treat fibroids include uterine artery embolization, radiofrequency ablation, laparoscopic myomectomy, hysteroscopic myomectomy, and endometrial ablation. There are also open surgeries used to treat these growths, like abdominal myomectomy and hysterectomy.

Mild cases of fibroids may also only require a watchful waiting. 

Whatever the type or severity of your fibroids, make an appointment with Dr. Esteves today to get the treatment you need.

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