Uterine Fibroids: Understanding the Why and When to Be Concerned

At North Pointe OB/GYN in Cumming, we are committed to providing comprehensive women’s health care. An important part of our services involves educating our patients about various conditions they might encounter during their reproductive years. One such condition that affects many women is uterine fibroids. Here, we delve into understanding why uterine fibroids develop and when to be concerned about them.

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. They vary in size, from tiny and undetectable to the human eye, to large masses that can distort the shape and size of the uterus. The good news is that most fibroids do not lead to cancer and, in many cases, they cause no symptoms at all.

Why Do Uterine Fibroids Develop?

While the exact causes of uterine fibroids remain unclear, there are several factors that have been linked to their development:

  • Hormonal Factors: Estrogen and progesterone, the hormones produced by the ovaries, promote the growth of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle and may also stimulate the growth of fibroids. Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal uterine muscle cells do.
  • Genetic Factors: If your mother or sister had fibroids, you’re at an increased risk of developing them as well.
  • Other Growth Factors: Substances that help the body maintain tissues, like insulin-like growth factor, might influence fibroid development.
  • Extracellular Matrix: This is a material that makes cells stick together and might also contribute to fibroid growth.

When to Be Concerned About Uterine Fibroids

For many women, uterine fibroids cause no noticeable symptoms. However, there are signs that may indicate the presence of fibroids, and some of these can be quite concerning:

  • Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: One of the most common signs of fibroids is prolonged menstrual periods or excessive bleeding.
  • Pelvic Pain or Pressure: Larger fibroids can cause a sensation of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen.
  • Frequent Urination: Due to their location and size, fibroids can press on the bladder causing frequent urination.
  • Complications During Pregnancy: In some cases, fibroids might lead to complications such as fetal growth restriction or preterm delivery.
  • Infertility: In rare cases, fibroids can block the fallopian tubes, making it harder for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.

If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they impact your quality of life, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional. While these symptoms might indicate the presence of fibroids, they can also be signs of other medical issues. A timely diagnosis can lead to effective treatments and relief from discomfort.

Worried About Your Frequent Fibroids? Call North Pointe OB/GYN

Uterine fibroids, while common and often benign, can have a profound impact on a woman’s reproductive health. Understanding why they develop and being alert to the signs that might indicate a concern is crucial. At North Pointe OB/GYN, our team is here to support, advise, and provide the best possible care for all our patients. If you have concerns or questions about uterine fibroids or any other aspect of your reproductive health, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your health and well-being are our top priority.

Busting Menstruation Myths for Teenage Girls

Navigating the challenges of adolescence is already complex, and when it comes to menstruation, it’s not uncommon for misinformation to add to the confusion. At North Pointe OB/GYN in Cumming, we understand the anxieties and questions teenage girls might have about their period. Today, we’re addressing some of the common myths associated with menstruation and setting the record straight.

Myth 1: Having a period means you’re not a virgin anymore.

Fact: Menstruation and virginity are not connected in any way. Having a period is a natural bodily function that signifies a girl’s body is maturing and can potentially reproduce. It has nothing to do with sexual activity or the state of one’s virginity.

Myth 2: If your cycle doesn’t last exactly 28 days, it’s abnormal.

Fact: While a 28-day cycle is often cited as the average, it’s essential to understand that everyone’s body is different. Many girls and women have cycles that are shorter or longer than 28 days. Cycles can also fluctuate based on factors like stress, physical activity, and weight changes.

Myth 3: You can’t swim or bathe during your period.

Fact: You can absolutely swim or take a bath during your period. Using a tampon or menstrual cup can make swimming more comfortable and prevent menstrual flow from entering the water. Moreover, a warm bath can even help relieve menstrual cramps!

Myth 4: You will lose a lot of blood during your period.

Fact: It might seem like a lot, but most girls and women only lose about 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood during their entire menstrual cycle. The presence of other fluids and tissue can make it appear as though there’s more blood than there actually is.

Myth 5: It’s bad to exercise during your period.

Fact: Exercise can be one of the best things to do during your period. It helps release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, potentially reducing menstrual cramps. Find an activity you’re comfortable with, whether it’s walking, yoga, or more rigorous exercise.

Myth 6: PMS is just an excuse to be moody.

Fact: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is real and can involve a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, including mood swings, fatigue, tender breasts, and food cravings. Everyone’s experience with PMS is unique, but it’s essential to recognize and respect the genuine challenges it can present.

Myth 7: You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period.

Fact: Although it’s less common, it is still possible to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex during your period. Sperm can live inside the body for up to five days, and if a girl ovulates shortly after her period, there’s a chance for fertilization.

Get the Truth from a Trusted Gyno in Cumming

In a world full of myths and half-truths, especially surrounding women’s health, it’s essential to be informed and get your facts from reliable sources. At North Pointe OB/GYN, we’re committed to providing accurate information and support to our patients at every stage of their lives. If you’re a teen or the parent of one, never hesitate to ask questions and get the clarity you need about menstruation or any other aspect of reproductive health. Your well-being and peace of mind are our top priorities.

Call us at 770-886-3555 to request your appointment today!

Request Appointment Online

Our Cumming Office

The office of North Pointe OB/GYN Associates is located on the Northside Hospital-Forsyth campus, and we perform deliveries at the Women's Center at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

  • Address

  • 1800 Northside Forsyth Dr.
    Suite 350
    Cumming, GA 30041
  • Office Hours

  • Monday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Photo of Northside Hospital
NPOBG logo