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What's the Risk of Having Untreated Fibroids?

Posted on June 25, 2024

While uterine fibroids affect up to 80% of women by the age of 50, they are typically non-cancerous tumors that don't pose a major risk to your general health. Still, while some women have asymptomatic fibroids, others live with burdensome symptoms such as heavy bleeding; weight gain; infertility and more. Plus, not all women are impacted equally: some only develop one small tumor, while others have large or multiple fibroids. For that reason, some women may seek immediate medical intervention, while others are fine living with untreated fibroids. But is that a safe choice, medically?

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Will Untreated Fibroids Grow and Cause Problems?

There's no clear answer on what will happen if you leave your fibroids untreated. Some women will experience no change in their fibroid growth or their symptom burden. But others will develop more fibroids; see growth in their existing tumors; and experience new or worsening fibroid symptoms. How are such diverse outcomes possible?

Unfortunately, we can't predict what will happen to untreated fibroids because we can't explain exactly why they develop in the first place. What we do know, though, is that fibroid growth is linked to estrogen and progesterone levels in your body. When levels of these hormones drop—as in menopause—even untreated fibroids may shrink.

But when your hormone levels are stable or rising, your tumors could keep getting larger. In turn, minimally invasive procedures such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) could be less effective. And that might leave surgery as your only treatment option leaving surgery as your best option if you eventually decide to seek treatment.

But are Untreated Fibroids Dangerous to Your Health?

As we mentioned earlier, fibroids rarely pose a major health risk, even when left untreated. Still, large fibroids could lead to prolonged heavy bleeding, in turn increasing your anemia risk. Moreover, fibroids within the uterine cavity could lead to infertility, impacting your family planning. So, for that reason, many women beginning exploring their fibroid treatment options as soon as they know they have uterine tumors.

Treating Fibroids in Georgia

There are a variety of approaches to treating fibroids. Some women live with untreated fibroids, monitoring growth to prevent complications. Others take hormonal birth control to reduce the burden of symptoms such as menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding. But for those who need more relief, a minimally invasive procedure such as UFE can shrink fibroids without the need for surgery. Still, some women may choose or need myomectomy surgery, removing individual fibroids. Rarely, a hysterectomy, (removal of the uterus) may be necessary, but only after exploring other treatment options.

Not sure if you can live with untreated fibroids or need to start your treatment journey? Turn to the experts and request a consultation at Georgia Fibroids. Together, we'll review treatment options and explore your UFE candidacy.

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