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How big IS a big fibroid? How big IS a big fibroid?

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Unread 08-02-2003, 07:04 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?


Two months ago my fibroid was 9mm, and has now doubled almost to 16mm (less than 2cm, I think). I realize that is not big, but it does seem to be growing at warp speed, and I am feeling worse, just in the last two weeks.

My question is, how big IS a big fibroid? When does a fibroid go from a myomectomy option to a hysterectomy certainty?

I am 34 in two weeks and do not have children. My body just can't take it, the risks are to high, both to myself and the unborn child. That is my belief, making children not an option for us.

My gyn seems to think that myomectomy is the way to go , but I will ultimately need a hysterectomy. I can't help noticing that I am TERRIFIED of the myo and really feel at peace with the hysto. I've already had one major surgery 7 months ago, many problems (NOT related to the surgery, but to my reproductive parts), and don't want surgery again.

I guess I'm wondering when I'll have to make a decision. I'm already symptomatic, but the fibroid is small.

What sized fibroid takes a woman from one set of options to another?

I hope this makes sense. I am awash with information and am almost overloaded !!!

Thanks, Ladies
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Unread 08-02-2003, 09:12 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?


I'd love to know the answer to your question, too. I have fibroids. An ultasound last month told my MD that they are posterior and "multiple". He said they were "small", but I don't know sizes. He did say that fibroids grow in spurts, thus I will have another US in Oct. It is suspected that I have endo(no scope yet to confirm-mychoice) because of my symptoms, and the US told him that I have fibroids and adeno.

I, too, am curious what size fibroids other woman have had. My mom and 2 sisters all had them. One was the size of a 7 mo. gestation baby-BIG.

Like you, I wonder how long is too long? Because My DH and I are not sure about more kids(I'm 31 and have 2), my MD wants to preserve my fertility. BUT, we don't want to have more kids now; our youngest is 22 mos. Maybe in 2-3 years. But by other info. I'v gathered, it doesn't seem like we have that long without ANY surgery. ( hormone therapy gives me migraines) I sometime think that when I have a surgery, TAKE IT OUT!! Do we want to be messing around with this stuff for years like some of the other women have had to do? If I wait too long, I could lose my ovaries, too.

Bottom line- we each have to do what is best for our bodies and relationships. Sometimes the "plan" changes, making us choose other paths.

P.S.: 16 mm is about the size of a dime. I don't think anything is too small when it is growing inside of you. Figure the uterus is normally the size of you fist. Doesn't take long for the space to be filled.

I truly hope you find an answer.

EDIT: hey, I just found another thread that might help
It is under hyst. alt. & opt. title: vacillating?myo/?hyst?
posted by sbcvulcan. Check it out
Unread 08-02-2003, 09:31 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

Thanks, Periwinkle

I lost my left ovary in December. I had a cyst that had grown to watermelon size and pretty much obliterated the ovary and things near it. Then I had a bad pap/colposcopy/cervical biopsies (all neg, thank God), and they found my remaining ovary has a cyst growing. NOW the fibroid. Although, I am relieved in a way that they found the fibroid, because it explains why I have spent to long feeling SO bad all the time.

I understand what you are saying about TAKE IT OUT. That's been my biggest struggle,really. MY fiance and I have made peace with not having biological children, so that choice has been made. People keep suggesting myomectomy, but I would like to just get it all out. It's not doing me any favors, and I don't need the parts.

Hopefully, we'll hear see more posts to this thread regarding size and options. My gyn said make a baby now or never, and now is not the time for us. Based on my history, my family history and my growth rates, I don't think I have long before something has to be done.

I'll be thinking of you. The one thing I did right was find this sight. What a relief!
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Unread 08-03-2003, 02:10 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

my doctor was willing to do a myomectomy as many times as I was willing to go it. He did not suggest that I consider a hysterectomy until the fibroids had grown back quite quickly (less than 6 months) after a previous myo. I'm not sure it depends so much on the size of the fibroids so much as the complexity of them. What are they atttached to, is it growing on both sides of the uterus wall, etc.

For the most part my fibroids were no larger than a softball, but I always had multiple ones. The TAH was suggested when they had grown back after 4 months and appeared from the CT scan to be widespread. At that time the doctor was hopeful, but would not rule out a possibility of cancer because of the rapid growth.

Through the years my doctor recommended myomectomies because of my age and he knew we wanted to have kids. He suggested a myo, but we decided to be realistic and with the rapid regrowth I sincerely doubted I could conceive safely.

Did I expect to have so many surgeries? No. After the first one, recovery and pain were minimal for me.

If I could have seen into the future an known I would eventually have a hysterectomy, would I have chosen to have one sooner? No. I don't think I was ready, and I always had hope.

All the best to you all,

Unread 08-03-2003, 06:14 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

Hi ladies,

Many of you are asking about the size of fibroids. A uterus with fibroids is "sized" in terms of weeks pregnant. So, if a gyn says your uterus is "12 weeks" that means it is the size of a 12 weeks pregnant uterus. A 12 week uterus weighs about 1 pound.

The size of a fibroid is often compared to things like a golf ball, baseball, grapefruit. Kinda funny, but not when you're the one with these things growing inside you. A 2 cm fibroid is not all that large, but depending on its location it can cause a lot of problems with regard to bleeding (particularly if it is submucosal ... on the inside of the uterus).

I've read posts from ladies here who had fibroids the size of cantalopes and uteri that were sized at 7 and 8 months pregnant. So fibroids can get quite large.

As for how large is too large for a myomectomy ... I haven't run across any guidelines on that. More often you will see that a vaginal hysterectomy may not be possible when the size of the uterus exceeds 10 weeks ... some docs can do vaginal incisions beyond this point, but this seems to be the "cutoff" point for many gyns. When a uterus is larger than 10 weeks size, an abdominal approach is often recommended ... or, depending on the skills of the surgeon, a laparoscopic hyst may be performed.

A great site I referenced when struggling with fibroids is:

Hope this helps.

Unread 08-04-2003, 12:53 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

Fallbride -

I don't know that it is specifically the size of the fibroid that always determines the treatment options. Certainly, as Beth said, there is only so big a fibroid can be and have the woman still a candidiate for a vaginal hysterectomy.

I've known women with big fibroids (4-5 month size) that opted to watch and wait and did fine. I know women with teeny fibroids who were severely disabled by bleeding.

I had a 3 month size fibroid when I had my hyst for other reasons. Never once bothered me, and I knew it was there during my second and third pregnancies.

Good luck researching!!

Unread 08-04-2003, 03:19 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

It's interesting to read that, DorrieL. My fibroid is not big (yet), but I feel miserable ALL of the time and am having the worst of it the last three days. My heavy bleeding just started last month, so I almost feel like a weenie for complaining, after reading all that others have been through.

We see my gyn tomorrow at 11am to discuss. I was sent home two weeks ago with instructions to decide on having babies or not. For many reasons, we have decided that babies will not be happening for us. When asked what she'd do if we didn't want babies, she saida myomectomy. When I asked if I was a hysterectomy candidate (I'm 34, by the way), she said "God no, not for just the fibroid".

But I'm miserable. Even my DF says I am not myself these last few months. I am uncomfortable all the time and exhausted all the time. And I need it to end.

I'm not saying I want a hyst instantly, but I can't shake the feeling that she is going to talk to us about myo tomorrow, and I would rather just go straight to a hyst in a few months. Does that make me crazy?

I'm hoping once she hears our baby decision and learns more of my family history (BIG problems with the ladies) and takes my medical history into account, as well as my constant discomfort, she will be willing to discuss a hyst with me.

I'm afraid she is going to tell me my fibroid is tiny, what's the big deal. Let's do a myo and get over it. However, I LOVE my gyn/surgeon and trust her completely. I just find myself growing ever anxious as to what she is really going to recommend tomorrow.
Unread 08-08-2003, 01:07 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

And people say size doesn't matter!!!
When my fibroids were first diagnosed about 10 years ago, they were small and insignificant. When during my yearly GYN noticed an increase in size, I had my first ultrasound and found it had grown to the size of my thumb (about an inch long). Because I was newly married and wanted children we took the wait and see attitude. On my next yearly, we found the fibroid was no longer a singular. It had friends, many friends. Thing is though, I never had any problems. No symptoms at all, or so I thought. Everything came upon me slowly, one thing at a time, so over a period of the last 6 years, I did not associate all my pains and aches with fibroids. Geezz, if I had know that incredible backache was due to fibroids, I certainly would have considered treatment of some sort much sooner. If I had only know that the constant constipation was caused by a grapefruit sized tumor sitting on my rectum, I would have acted sooner. I thought I had a pinched nerve and I was right, a fibroid 9cmx11cm sitting on my sciatic nerve. I can't tell you how this surgery is going to change my life, but it can only make it better!!! Keep a close eye and don't let it get out of control. It took only 2 months for my fibroids to take over my life! Best of luck in your decision.
Unread 09-24-2003, 10:09 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

Julie, when you say back pains from your fibroid, where do you mean exacly? I have a 4 mth size fibroid and have so much pressure on my tailbone or is that my lower back? Right before my crack line begins (sorry) and too either side of it. Is that considered the end of the back? Do you know?

Does anybody else here have pressure or discomfort like that, in that area?? Please, let me know. Thanks so much!

Unread 09-24-2003, 10:51 PM
How big IS a big fibroid?

Let's see where is the back pain?

Mine is only on the right side, about 2 inches above the crack and radiates to my hip bone. On really bad days it goes down my right inside leg to my knee.

I too have thought I had sciatica and urinary infections.

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