Subserosal Fibroid: Symptoms, Pregnancy, Treatment
Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus. In this brief review, the fibroid specialists at ProFibroidMD explain subserosal fibroid symptoms, how subserosal fibroids can affect pregnancy, and what treatment options are available to women with subserosal fibroids. Read on to learn more.
Subserosal Fibroid Relief in Los Angeles
Dawn S, October 2021
Subserosal Fibroid Anatomy
Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus near the serous membrane. Because they aren’t located near the endometrium or uterine cavity, they are generally thought to have fewer reproductive consequences than intramural or submucosal fibroids . However, large subserosal fibroids can extend outward from the uterus, putting pressure on the abdomen, bladder or rectum, causing symptoms like pain, a feeling of fullness or being pregnant, bloating, pelvic pressure, urinary urgency or constipation. Subserosal fibroids are one of the more common uterine fibroid types .
According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) classification system, there are three types of subserosal fibroids which are differentiated by how much of the fibroid extends into the intramural space, and whether or not the fibroid is pedunculated.
- Fibroid Type 5: Subserosal, ≥50% intramural
- Fibroid Type 6: Subserosal, <50% intramural
- Fibroid Type 7: Subserosal, pedunculated
Subserosal Fibroid Symptoms
Subserosal Fibroids and Pregnancy
Subserosal Fibroid Treatment
Get Relief From Subserosal Fibroids
The most conservative treatment option for uterine fibroids is medical therapy. Medicine can be effective if symptoms are mild, if a woman is in perimenopause (so treatment is only needed in the short term), or if pre-operative intervention to reduce the size of the fibroids would make a surgery less technically challenging [7, 8]. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hormones (estroprogestins or progestogens), and oral contraceptives can help with symptomatic bleeding and fibroid pain. Gn-RH analogues and selective progesterone receptor modulators (sPRMs) like ulipristal acetate (UPA) help treat bulk symptoms such as pelvic pressure, pelvic pain, and frequent urination . Medical treatments are only used for the short-term due to the significant health risks associated with long-term use of these medicines .
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Uterine fibroid embolization, also known as uterine artery embolization, is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist or vascular specialist. During the procedure, small spherical beads are injected into the blood vessels that supply the fibroids with oxygen and other nutrients. The beads occlude the blood vessels, essentially starving the fibroids and causing them to shrink. UFE is an outpatient procedure with a recovery time around 1 to 2 weeks.
Myolysis does impact future fertility and pregnancies. As fibroid tissue is destroyed with myolysis, scar tissue can form in the endometrium. While some women may achieve successful pregnancies, there could be potential complications. Myolysis is not always a definitive treatment. Surgical intervention may be required down the line .
Myomectomy isn’t without its shortcomings, and isn’t always ideal for women with multiple large fibroids. Failure rates range from 14.5% to 30% at 3 to 4 years’ follow-up . Between 10 and 25 percent of women will require a second fibroid surgery . Still, many women choose myomectomy in order to preserve their uterus for future pregnancies. Most women who have myomectomy are able to have children afterwards.
Hysterectomy is the most definitive treatment available for uterine fibroids, particularly for women who have no desire to conceive . It can be very effective for patients with extremely large fibroids or a large quantity of fibroids. However, after hysterectomy, once the uterus or parts of it are removed, pregnancy is no longer possible.
Subserosal Fibroid Removal
Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatments: Which Is Best?
When it comes to fibroid treatment, we believe that less is more. A less invasive procedure means less trauma, less risk, and shorter recovery time. Learn more about why we opt for UFE, the least invasive treatment for uterine fibroids.
Uterine Artery Embolization
Fibroid Specialist in Los Angeles
Learn more about Los Angeles Fibroid Specialist Dr. Michael Lalezarian.
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