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Is the Size of Your Fibroid Dangerous?

Posted on October 05, 2023
sharon stone reveals her large fibroid size

Have you wondered how the size of your fibroid can impact your outcome? Or if there’s a certain size of fibroid that’s dangerous? Well, for most women, larger fibroids trigger worse symptoms. That was certainly the case for Sharon Stone, who wasn’t diagnosed with fibroids until her growth was large enough to require surgical removal. As a result, she’d need an extended recovery period, instead of the shorter one that comes with minimally invasive fibroid treatments such as UFE, or uterine fibroid embolization. 

Now, uterine fibroid diagnoses are very common. Most women develop these non-cancerous uterine growths at some point in their lives. But some women will experience disruptive symptoms, while others won’t even know they have fibroids. And a lot of that variation is linked to the range of fibroid sizes—some growths are virtually undetectable, while others could grow as large as a grapefruit! 

Of course, any fibroid can cause complications to your health, regardless of size. Truthfully, a 2017 study showed that 65,000 women visited the ER that year for fibroid complications, compared to just 23,000 women in 2006, the previous year for which data was recorded. Still, in most cases, larger fibroids were more often to blame for complications. And they were more likely to cause symptoms such as heavy periods, bloating, an enlarged uterus, and more.

What Size of Fibroids is Dangerous for Weight Gain

Untreated fibroids can grow so large, they weigh up to 25 pounds, leading to serious weight gain. One woman even holds the record for world’s largest fibroid, with a recorded weight of 140 pounds! Now, in order to accommodate larger fibroids, your uterus has to expand. And that can make it look like you’re in the early months of pregnancy, even if you haven’t physically gained weight. As such, while the smaller sizes of fibroids may not be dangerous, they can leave you seeking fibroid treatment options.

Treating Fibroids of all Sizes in Atlanta, Georgia

Unfortunately, larger fibroids are more difficult to treat. And so, we need to accurately measure the size of your uterine growth before choosing your best treatment. For that reason, in our Atlanta fibroid treatment center, we’ll carefully image and measure your fibroid size before deciding if you’re a candidate for UFE. And remember: untreated fibroids will keep on growing. For that reason, we urge you to come in for a consultation as soon as you’re diagnosed with fibroids. Otherwise, any of the factors highlighted below could increase your fibroid size while you research treatment options.

Factors that Impact Fibroid Size

There’s no clear science on exactly what factors cause fibroids to develop and grow. But we do know that factors like hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment; and vitamin D deficiencies can both contribute to fibroid growth.

So, What Size of Fibroid is Dangerous?

There are a range of measurable fibroid sizes, typically, somewhere between 1 and 5 cm. Medium-size fibroids usually measure beneath 10 cm in diameter, while larger fibroids measure above that size. When fibroids grow very large, they can usually only be treated surgically. But that’s not the problem caused by large-sized fibroids.  This dangerous size of fibroid can also:

Change the uterine lining shape, making it difficult to become or pregnant.

Damage the uterus, due to scarring from surgical removal of fibroids.

Burst before getting removed, leaving you severe and sudden pain.

Cause blood clots, including a potentially fatal blood clot in your lung, called a pulmonary embolism.

Large sizes of fibroids are dangerous, and untreated fibroids may continue to grow without stopping. As a result, we invite you to explore your treatment options immediately after your fibroids diagnosis. And we hope you’ll consider UFE in Atlanta, as an alternative to invasive surgical treatments such as myomectomy or hysterectomy. Ready to get started? Schedule a consultation with our fibroid experts today!

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