Find your care
You receive exceptional care and personalized pain management from an expert team. Call to connect with our fibroid experts.
If you’re looking to review fibroid treatment options with an OB/GYN provider or want a second opinion, please call: 310-794-7274
If you already have a provider helping you manage a fibroid condition and are interested in MR-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) or uterine artery embolization (UAE) treatment, please call 310-481-7545.
Frequently Asked Questions About Uterine Fibroids
Our care team is happy to answer any questions you may have. Until then, find answers to questions frequently asked by women like you:
Can fibroids turn into cancer?
Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous). Rarely (less than one in 1,000), a cancerous fibroid will occur. This is called leiomyosarcoma.
Doctors think that these cancers do not arise from an already-existing fibroid. Having fibroids does not increase your risk of developing a cancerous fibroid. Having fibroids also does not increase your chances of getting other forms of cancer in the uterus.
How can fibroids affect pregnancy?
Small- or medium-sized fibroids that don’t cause symptoms are unlikely to pose a significant risk to pregnancy. However, fibroids may grow larger during pregnancy because of higher hormone levels and increased blood flow to the uterus. Fibroid growth may cause discomfort, feelings of pressure or pain.
Additionally, large or multiple fibroids can increase the risk of:
- Cesarean section: The risk of needing a cesarean section (C-section) is six times greater for women with fibroids.
- Breech presentation: The baby is positioned with its legs down and head up rather than head down.
- Placental abruption: The placenta breaks away from the wall of the uterus before delivery. When this happens, the fetus may not receive oxygen.
- Preterm delivery: The baby is born too soon, before the 37th week of pregnancy.
Talk to your obstetrician if you have fibroids and become pregnant. All obstetricians (OB) have experience dealing with fibroids and pregnancy. Most women who have fibroids and become pregnant do not need to see an OB who deals with high-risk pregnancies.
Which fibroids cause infertility?
Fibroids do not affect fertility for most women. However, about 10 percent of infertile women have fibroids.
Fibroids can interfere with conception by:
- Reducing the space inside the uterus or the uterus’ blood flow
- Altering the uterine lining
- Obstructing fallopian tubes
Certain types of fibroids pose the greatest risk:
- Submucosal fibroids inside the open space in the uterus (uterine cavity)
- Very large intramural fibroids
Learn more about what fibroids are, including the three main types.
Could my fibroids come back after treatment?
Although treatment often succeeds in addressing fibroids and providing relief, more fibroids may eventually grow. These fibroids can cause symptoms and require additional care.
The potential for fibroids to return happens with all treatments except hysterectomy. During a hysterectomy, surgeons remove the entire uterus.
Learn more about fibroid treatment.
How do I know for sure that I have fibroids?
Most fibroids get noticed during routine pelvic exams. Doctors then confirm a diagnosis with scans, usually ultrasound and MRI. Our team has the experience and skill to perform the scans the right way and to accurately interpret the results. We also have the expertise to distinguish fibroids from other conditions.
Learn more about what fibroids are, including how we diagnose them and their symptoms.
What foods should be avoided for fibroids?
Researchers are still studying how diet may affect fibroids. But eating a lot of ham and red meat, such as beef, has been linked with a higher risk for fibroids.
What is radiofrequency ablation of fibroids?
The ACESSA device is an FDA-approved surgical procedure. It aims to effectively treat fibroids with a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.
ACESSA uses radiofrequency energy to heat fibroid tissue and cause instantaneous cell death. The necrotic cells are then reabsorbed by the lymphatic system. Studies have shown that the ACESSA procedure may provide some decrease in fibroid size and some symptom relief.
Doctors place the Acessa device within the fibroid under ultrasound guidance during a standard outpatient pelvic laparoscopy.
Studies have shown some decrease in fibroid size as well as symptoms after the ACESSA procedure.
What are the benefits of uterine fibroid embolization?
Benefits of uterine fibroid embolization include:
- Effective alternative to surgery and hormonal treatment
- Completely noninvasive — no surgery and no blood loss
- Minimal hospital stay
- Quick return to normal activities
- Preserves the uterus, cervix and ovaries
- Significant improvement in quality of life:
- Decrease in menstrual bleeding from symptomatic fibroids
- Decrease in urinary dysfunction, pelvic pain and/or pressure
Learn more about uterine artery embolization.