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Fibroids Specialist

John A. Whitfield, MD -  - Gynecology and Gynecologic Surgery

John A. Whitfield, MD

Gynecology and Gynecologic Surgery located in Fort Worth, TX

According to one research study, by age 50, 70%-80% of women have non-cancerous uterine tumors called fibroids. Many women go undiagnosed until fibroids lead to bleeding, pain, or complications of pregnancy. At his specialized gynecological practice in Fort Worth, Texas, John A. Whitfield, MD treats fibroids with medication and surgery to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. He can also provide access to clinical trials for new medications for uterine fibroids. To learn more about current uterine fibroid treatments available to you, call or request an appointment with Dr. Whitfield online today.

Fibroids Q & A

Uterine Fibroid Treatment Center of Excellence

What are fibroids?

Fibroids, sometimes called uterine fibroids, are the most common type of benign growths found in women of childbearing age. They are tumors formed from the uterine wall.

Fibroids are caused by a specific gene defect found in 85% of all women with fibroids. Not every woman with this gene defect will necessarily develop symptomatic fibroids, but some risk factors include:

  • Age: Fibroids are more common among women in their 30s and 40s.
  • Diet: A diet high in red meat seems to increase the risk of fibroids.
  • Ethnic origin: African American women are more prone to fibroids than women of other ethnicities.
  • Family history: Women whose mothers had fibroids are three times as likely to develop them.
  • Weight: Obesity increases a woman’s risk of fibroids.

Fibroids are nearly always non-cancerous and having them does not increase your risk of developing other cancers in the future.

What are the symptoms of fibroids?

Many women with fibroids have no symptoms and don’t realize they have them until they experience secondary complications, including pain, bleeding or pregnancy complications.

Women with fibroid symptoms may experience:

  • Heavy periods and the passage of clots
  • Prolonged periods
  • Painful periods
  • Painful intercourse
  • Feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen
  • Frequent urination
  • Low back pain
  • Reproductive problems including infertility, miscarriage, and early labor

How are fibroids treated?

Before creating a treatment plan for your fibroids, Dr. Whitfield considers your age, symptoms, the size and location of your fibroids, and your reproductive goals. Fibroids often shrink during menopause, so treatment at that point may be less aggressive. Fibroid treatments include:

  • Medical therapy: This includes medications to reduce the bleeding and pain medication to treat the cramping and pain and discomfort.
  • Conservative surgery:  An endometrial ablation is a procedure to destroy the uterine lining, reducing or ending menstrual flow.  Another procedure the uterine artery embolization is performed by radiologists by running a catheter through a vessel in the groin to the uterine artery. The beads are placed into the uterine artery to decrease blood flow hoping the fibroids will shrink.
  • Myomectomy: Dr. Whitfield removes fibroids through an incision in the abdomen. This frequently can be done with minimally invasive techniques allowing a rapid recovery
  • Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus, a permanent solution for fibroids. Again, this frequently can be done with minimally invasive techniques allowing a rapid recovery.

Dr. Whitfield discusses the risks, benefits, and alternatives to every treatment option to help you make informed decisions about your care. Dr. Whitfield can also provide access into clinical trials for new medications for uterine fibroids.  See if you qualify.

For an appointment, consultation or second opinion with John A. Whitfield, MD, call or click today.