Are you one of the more than 35 million women in the US with uterine fibroids, noncancerous tumors ranging from the size of a seed to the size of a grapefruit? Not sure? We understand! It can be challenging to know if you have fibroids, especially since symptoms vary depending on the location and type of fibroid — sometimes not causing any symptoms at all.
At Darin Swainston MD. FACOG, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Daniel Richards, DO and Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG diagnose and treat uterine fibroids using state-of-the-art robotic technology. Our providers help women preserve their uterus and avoid early menopause with this cutting-edge treatment.
If you’re worried you have fibroids, take a moment to learn about the signs of these benign tumors, how they’re diagnosed, and what you can do about them.
What are the signs I have fibroids?
Women experience different signs and symptoms of fibroids, depending on how many exist and their size and position. One of the most common symptoms of fibroids includes pelvic pain; however, it’s important to understand the other signs of fibroids, which include:
- Heavy bleeding, especially with clots (during and between periods)
- Periods lasting more than 7 days
- Severe or worsening menstrual cramping
- Low back pain
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Difficulty emptying your bladder fully
- Feeling pressure in the lower abdomen
- Experiencing swelling in the abdomen
- Pain during sexual intercourse
In addition, uterine fibroids sometimes cause constipation and other digestive issues if they put pressure on the intestines. It’s important to note that some women with fibroids do not have any signs of fibroids.
How are fibroids diagnosed?
To diagnose fibroids, Dr. Richards or Dr. Swainston reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms. You also undergo a physical exam to check the size, condition, and shape of your uterus and to check for abnormalities. Dr. Richards and Dr. Swainston often identify fibroids during this exam, even in asymptomatic cases.
To confirm the diagnosis, your provider uses imaging technology to examine your uterus and locate any fibroids. In some cases, your provider may recommend an MRI.
Are fibroids treatable?
Fibroids are treatable, and the right treatment depends on multiple factors, including your symptoms and the risks associated with your specific fibroids. Some treatment options include:
- Medications (e.g., oral contraceptive, Gn-RH agonists)
- Noninvasive procedures (e.g., ultrasound surgery)
- Minimally invasive procedures (e.g., endometrial ablation, uterine artery embolization)
- Surgery (e.g., hysterectomy, myomectomy)
While these methods reduce or remove the fibroids, they can also have repercussions on your fertility. In the case of a hysterectomy, no matter how old you are, you’ll begin menopause.
Dr. Richards and Dr. Swainston review your options and make customized treatment recommendations based on your unique situation.
The Acessa option
Our practice offers innovative Acessa procedures which give you relief from fibroids while preserving your uterus. This outpatient procedure takes an hour and a half to two hours and is performed under general anesthesia.
After making two small incisions, Dr. Richards or Dr. Swainston uses the Acessa ultrasound probe and mapping system to find the exact location of your fibroids. He then directs radiofrequency (RF) energy directly into the fibroid using the tip of the Acessa handpiece.
The RF energy heats the fibroid tissue, destroying the cells. Over time, your body absorbs and removes the dead fibroid tissue using your body’s natural waste removal processes. The result? Fibroid-free living with an intact uterus.
If you suspect you may have fibroids, call the Las Vegas office of Darin Swainston MD, FACOG or book an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment. We also offer telehealth appointments for your safety and convenience.