Marsha K. Howerton, MD  -  - Gynecology

Marsha K. Howerton, MD

Gynecology & Obstetrics located in Midtown, Tulsa, OK

If you’re having heavy menstrual bleeding, you may think there’s nothing you can do about it. Not necessarily. You might have developed a common condition called fibroids. And you don’t have to suffer with it. Dr. Marsha K. Howerton, MD, OB/GYN in Midtown, Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers treatment, including minimally invasive options. Call her office today for more information, or book your appointment online.

Fibroids Q & A

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are benign growths on or inside the uterus. These round tumors, sometimes called myomas or leiomyomas, are made of the same muscle fibers as the uterine wall.

Fibroids rarely turn into cancer. But, depending on their location, size, and proximity to other organs, fibroids can cause various symptoms:

  • Abnormal periods
  • Pressure
  • Cramping
  • Painful intercourse
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal enlargement
  • Back or leg pain

In severe cases, fibroids can cause infertility or lead to miscarriage. In most cases, however, fibroids cause no symptoms at all, and you might not even be aware that you have them.

What causes fibroids?

Although no one knows the exact cause, researchers have a few ideas about conditions or habits that might increase your chances for fibroids.

Since hormone levels seem to affect their growth, for example, you are more likely to have fibroids during your pre-menopausal years. Experts note a few other factors that might play a role:

  • Family history
  • Early onset of menstruation
  • Blood vessel abnormalities
  • High blood pressure
  • Uterine infections
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Birth control usage
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Red meat consumption
  • High sugar consumption

Race also seems to be a factor: African-American women are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids than women of other races.

How will your OB/GYN treat your fibroids?

If your fibroids are causing no symptoms, no treatment is necessary. But if you’re having discomfort, you’ll want to discuss your options with Dr.Howerton.

The surest way to get rid of fibroids is with a hysterectomy, the complete surgical removal of the uterus. After a hysterectomy, of course, you cannot become pregnant, so you might prefer an alternative.

Dr.Howerton offers two types of myomectomy, a surgery that removes only the fibroids, while leaving the uterus intact. Both are minimally invasive.

During laparoscopic surgery, she makes a small incision near your belly button and inserts a laparoscope, a narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end. During a hysteroscopic myomectomy, she inserts a small, lighted instrument through your vagina and cervix.

With either procedure, Dr. Howerton will most likely be able to remove your fibroids, and you’ll be relieved of your symptoms. The removal of fibroids also increases your fertility and your chances of a successful pregnancy.

Don’t assume you have to live with your symptoms. Let Dr. Howerton help you find relief. Call her office today, or book an appointment online.