Fibroids may be common, but we view your symptoms — and your treatment — as unique to you. Our experts will help you find relief from fibroid discomfort.

Fibroids may be common, but we view your symptoms — and your treatment — as unique to you. Our experts will help you find relief from fibroid discomfort.

Uterine fibroids are growths (tumors) in your uterus that are not cancerous. Also called leiomyomas or myomas, fibroids most often appear during reproductive years and affect as many as 1 in 5 women. Some fibroids are so small they can be seen only under a microscope; others are large masses that can change the shape of your uterus.

Signs You Should Get Help for Fibroids

Although uterine fibroids aren't usually dangerous, they can cause pain and discomfort. They may also cause complications such as anemia (low red blood cells) because of heavy bleeding.

It's also common to have fibroids and experience no symptoms. Your RUSH provider may discover fibroids during your annual exam, or you could have the following signs:

  • Bleeding between periods, heavy periods or long-lasting periods
  • Pelvic cramping or discomfort during your period
  • Having to urinate more than usual
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal fullness or pressure
  • Backache or leg pains
  • Pain during sex
  • Infertility

Less commonly, fibroids could cause complications during pregnancy, including delivering before your due date, difficult delivery or heavy bleeding after birth. Your RUSH OB-GYN will closely monitor, and potentially treat your fibroids, as part of your pregnancy care.

Diagnosing Fibroids

If your OB-GYN or primary care provider thinks you may have fibroids, they will refer you to one of our fibroid specialists for a consultation.  

At your appointment, your provider will start by performing a pelvic exam to see if your uterus shape has changed. Sometimes fibroids aren't easy to find through a pelvic exam. Your provider can also perform one or more of the following tests or procedures to evaluate fibroids.

  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Hysterosonography or saline-infused sonogram
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Laparoscopy

Fibroid Treatment Program at RUSH

When treating fibroids, there's no one option that fits all. Your RUSH provider will help you understand your treatment options and recommend a care plan based on your symptoms, health and lifestyle, and the location, size and number of your fibroids.

The Fibroid Treatment Program at RUSH includes a team of gynecologists, minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons and interventional radiologists. The program offers state-of-the-art treatments for fibroids, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Non-hormonal medications to control bleeding
  • Hormonal treatments
  • Traditional and minimally invasive surgeries
  • Uterine fibroid embolization (non-surgical interventional radiology procedure)

Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery for Fibroids

If you have fibroids, minimally invasive gynecological surgery may be an option for you. Our highly-trained and specialized minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons can treat anyone with fibroids, including if you have complex fibroids or have a complex medical and surgical history. 

Minimally invasive surgical procedures offer the following benefits: 

  • Smaller incisions
  • Faster recovery, meaning a shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Lower risk of infection 
  • Minimal scarring and bleeding
  • Fewer complications 

Our team offers the following minimally invasive surgeries to treat fibroids:

  • Hysteroscopic procedures, which can treat fibroids without any abdominal incisions.
  • Endometrial ablation, which can treat heavy menstrual bleeding often associated with fibroids. 
  • Laparoscopic myomectomy (fibroid removal), in which fibroids are removed through small keyhole incisions.
  • Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation of fibroids (Acessa), which destroys fibroid tissue using radiofrequency energy to help shrink fibroids and decrease bleeding.
  • Da Vinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, which allows our surgeons to make small incisions and then guide the robot's four arms and small instruments to treat complex fibroids. 

If you need a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), our team also offers minimally invasive approaches, including:

  • Vaginal hysterectomy, which is the removal of uterus without any abdominal incisions.
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy, in which the uterus is removed through small abdominal incisions.
  • Da Vinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, which can treat large fibroids or if you who have a complex medical and surgical history.

Our interventional radiology team also offers a non-surgical procedure, called uterine fibroid embolization, or uterine artery embolization, which can shrink your fibroids and decrease bleeding.

If your fibroids are not affecting your life, your provider may recommend "watchful waiting" to see if treatment is needed in the future.

Fibroids Providers at RUSH

Learn more about fibroids providers at RUSH.

Meet our fibroids providers
stethoscope Meet our fibroids providers

RUSH Excellence in Fibroids Care

  • Nationally ranked for gynecologic care: RUSH University Medical Center's gynecology program is ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report. Our program takes a holistic approach to your care, prioritizing your preferences and offering you a full range of treatment options that consider your overall health and well-being.
  • Convenient and comprehensive care for complex cases: Diagnosing and treating uterine fibroids can sometimes require multiple specialists, particularly in complicated cases. The Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health at RUSH brings together the physicians needed to give you complete care. We'll coordinate your services, create a personalized treatment plan for you, and facilitate communication between you and your providers for your convenience.
  • Access to the latest research: As one of the top academic medical centers in Illinois, RUSH University Medical Center participates in clinical trials related to fibroid study and treatment. RUSH patients have access to these trials and potentially new treatments before they are available to a broader audience.
  • Embolization offers non-surgical treatment: Through an incision no larger than the tip of a pencil, RUSH interventional radiologists perform uterine fibroid embolization to break down fibroids. This minimally invasive, non-surgical method shrinks the growths by blocking off their blood supply. Embolization is a safe procedure that treats fibroids with minimal risk; plus, you'll be able to return to daily life quicker than if you had surgery.
  • Minimally invasive surgery options: If you need your fibroids removed surgically, RUSH providers are trained in the most advanced surgical methods. For instance, many of our doctors use the da Vinci surgical system — robot-assisted technology that allows us to perform procedures through a small incision. Robotic surgeries are minimally invasive, meaning you will experience reduced pain, less scarring, and a shorter hospital stay and recovery time than with traditional surgery. We also offer laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (Acessa) to treat fibroids. This destroys fibroid tissue using radiofrequency energy to help lessen fibroid symptoms. RUSH is one of the only centers in the region to offer this treatment.
  • Infertility specialists ready to care for you: Sometimes fibroids can lead to infertility. At RUSH, we will treat your fibroids to increase your chances of getting pregnant. If infertility continues, RUSH University Medical Center offers one of the most experienced infertility and reproductive endocrinology teams in Chicago.