10 Common Myths About Uterine Fibroids
1.Myth: Having fibroids means I need to have my uterus removed !
Fact:This thinking was common in the 1970’s. These days, with the advent of minimally invasive uterine-sparing surgical techniques, an Expert Endoscopic Surgeon can safely remove all fibroids without having to resort to hysterectomy (i.e., the removal of a uterus). Fibroids of any size and number can be removed laparoscopically without removing the entire uterus. This is of great importance to women with fibroids who want to be able to become pregnant.
2. Myth : Fibroids are cancer.
Fact: Because fibroids are often referred to as tumors, many women assume that they are cancerous. In fact, not all tumors are cancerous. Non-cancerous tumors are called benign tumors, while cancerous growths are referred to as malignant. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors. The kind of cancer that is sometimes mistaken for a fibroid, called leiomyosarcoma, is rare. It has been found in only one out of every 800 – 1,000 women admitted to the hospital for fibroid surgery.
3. Myth: Pregnant women with fibroids have to deliver by a cesarean section operation.
Fact: Unless a fibroid is growing in a location that blocks the birth canal, pregnant women with fibroids do not need to have a cesarean section.
4. Myth: Medications can shrink fibroids.
Fact: There are no medications that shrink fibroids permanently. Certain medications like GnRH agonists , Ulipristal acetate can shrink fibroids temporarily and are sometimes used in preparation for surgery. However, if the medication is used and then stopped , the fibroids will regrow.
5. Myth: Fibroids cause infertility.
Fact: Fibroids are often thought of as a common cause of infertility. While they can indeed lead to infertility; however, this is actually rare. One type of fibroid, the submucosal type that bulges into the uterine cavity, has been found to interfere with a woman’s ability to become pregnant. This can be removed effectively with hysteroscopic surgery on an outpatient basis.
6. Myth: You are more likely to have fibroids if you have fibrocystic breasts.
Fact: While the words “fibrocystic” and “fibroids” are similar, there is no relationship between the two conditions other than that they are both very common in premenopausal women and they both can regress after menopause.
7. Myth: There is a “miracle diet” that can cause fibroids to “vanish”.
Fact: This is a wholly unsubstantiated claim. There are no dietary supplements or practices that can reduce fibroid size, nor are there any magical therapies.
8. Myth: If you have fibroids, you can’t become pregnant.
Fact: Fibroids can prevent pregnancy in certain patients, but the majority of women with fibroids will never even know that they have them. Most often, fibroids are incidental findings when a woman has an ultrasound test for another reason. In some patients, however, fibroids may cause miscarriages or other obstetric complications, depending upon the fibroid’s size and location, and whether the pregnancy is a single or multiple (twins, triplets, etc.) .
9. Myth: Fibroids increase your chances of endometrial cancer.
Fact: Fibroids are associated with a fourfold increase in the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the womb), but fibroids don’t cause this. The current thinking is that the same factors that increase a person’s risk for fibroids, also increase the risk for endometrial cancer.
10. Myth: Huge fibroids cannot be removed laparoscopically or must undergo open abdominal surgery.
Fact: In the hands of experienced surgeons, this is absolutely not true. An expert laparoscopic fibroid surgeon can remove even the largest fibroids by a minimally invasive method.