Relief From Uterine Fibroids in Visalia CA

Heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain are telling symptoms of uterine fibroids.
Find relief! See a Fibroid Specialist in Visalia, CA.

Dr. Ashkan Shahkarami

Vascular & Interventional Specialist

Visalia, CA fibroid specialist Dr. Ashkan Shahkarami

Dr. Bennett K. Abe

Vascular & Interventional Specialist

Visalia, CA fibroid specialist Dr. Bennett K. Abe

Dr. Francisco E. Valles

Vascular & Interventional Specialist

Visalia, CA fibroid specialist Dr. Francisco E. Valles

We are VIP Specialists, and we’re to help you get back to health. Our Fibroid Specialists provide a full suite of screening, diagnostic, and fibroid treatment services for uterine fibroids so you can find relief and get back to your life!

Our fibroid center is conveniently located in downtown Visalia, California at the corner of Locust Street and East Acequia Avenue. Schedule your visit today!

Uterine Fibroids Overview

Uterine fibroids, also called ‘leiomyomas’, are non-cancerous smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. They arise in reproductive-age women and typically present with symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain.

Many women live with uterine fibroids, but far fewer live with fibroid symptoms. One commonly-cited population study screened women in the United States for uterine fibroids, and found that 40% of caucasion women and 60% of African-American women had developed uterine fibroids by age 35. These numbers increased to 70% and 80% respectively by age 50. [1] This means that most women have uterine fibroids, but fortunately for most women, the majority of fibroids are not symptomatic. According to a large survey of women with uterine fibroids, around 7% of women in the United States are living with symptomatic fibroids. [2]

Fibroids can develop at various locations throughout the uterus at sizes ranging from undetectable seedlings to massive tumors that distort the shape of the uterus and obstruct nearby organ systems. Fibroids can grow within the myometrium, on the outside of the uterus, just underneath the endometrium, or on small stalks inside or outside the uterus. [3] Fibroids receive the majority of their blood supply directly from the uterine arteries and have a tendency to grow over time if left untreated. [4]

Woman on bed with uterine fibroids in Visalia, CA
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain.

See a Fibroid Specialist in Visalia, CA

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Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

Symptoms of fibroids are often attributed to their location and size. Fibroids on the outside of the uterus can press on nearby organs such as the bladder or the gastrointestinal tract, causing sensations of pressure in the pelvis, frequent urination, difficulty urinating, or constipation. Alternatively, fibroids just under the inner lining of the uterus can cause heavy bleeding and contribute to iron-deficiency anemia. Because they inhabit the uterus and alter its shape and function, fibroids may also contribute to menstrual cycle abnormalities, pain during intercourse, and pregnancy challenges. [2,5-7]

Fibroids and Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Heavy bleeding is the most common symptom of fibroids. Bleeding abnormalities include:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or prolonged duration of menstrual bleeding (longer than 6 days)
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Frequent periods, more often than every 24 days
  • Irregular or unpredictable periods
  • Fibroids Pain

    Fibroids can cause a variety of pain patterns that depend on the size and location of the fibroids:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Excessively painful periods, pain after period ends, or pain occurring mid-cycle
  • Pain during intercourse or when using the bathroom
  • Backache / leg pain
  • Fibroid ‘Bulk’ Symptoms

    Growing fibroids can press on the nearby gastrointestinal and urinary organ systems, causing:

  • Pressure sensations on the bladder or inside your abdomen
  • Frequent urination, difficulty urinating, or urinary incontinence
  • Constipation or tenesmus (persistent feeling of having to use the bathroom)
  • Bloating or weight gain, especially in the pelvic region
  • Woman in pain with uterine fibroids in Visalia, CA
    Heavy bleeding during your period is the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids.
    Woman with uterine fibroids symptoms in Visalia, CA
    Pelvic pain and discomfort may indicate that you’re living with uterine fibroids.

    Uterine Fibroid Risk Factors

    These factors increase your likelihood of developing fibroids:

    Older Age  |  women in their 40’s and 50’s are much more likely to have fibroids than younger women

    Family History  |  fibroids may run in your family​

    Hormone Levels  |  estrogen and progesterone, hormones produced by the ovaries, are thought to contribute to fibroid growth

    Obesity, High Blood Pressure, and Diabetes  |  these lifestyle conditions have been associated with higher fibroid risk

    African American  |  black women are at 2 to 3 times higher risk of developing fibroids than white, hispanic, or asian women​

    See a Fibroid Specialist in Visalia, CA

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    Why Fibroids Occur

    Uterine fibroids are monoclonal tumors, meaning that they originate from a single “bad” cell. They arise from the smooth muscle cells (the myometrium) in the uterus. The myometrium contains specialized cells called “myometrial stem cells”. These cells are present in every female and are capable of transforming into the healthy smooth muscle cells of the myometrium, but under certain conditions they may transform into “fibroid progenitor cells”. The fibroid progenitor cell is the type of cell that can eventually turn into the harmful cell types that make up a uterine fibroid. While the exact causes of this transformation aren’t fully understood, researchers have pinpointed genetic alterations in these stem cells that appear to be a contributing factor. [8]

    Under certain conditions, a fibroid progenitor cell can turn into a “preclinical” fibroid. The preclinical fibroid is an early-stage, often microscopic fibroid that does not cause any noticeable symptoms. From here, the preclinical fibroid may go on to grow in an accelerated manner and progress into clinically significant uterine fibroids. Factors that influence the progression from “preclinical” to “clinically significant” disease include environmental factors such as diet, vitamin D, sex hormones, and exposure to toxins, as well as a number of complex biological factors. [8]

    Drawing of uterus affected by uterine fibroids

    Uterine Fibroids Diagnosis

    Your visit to the Fibroid Center at VIP Specialists will begin with a review of your medical history followed by a physical exam.

    In most cases uterine fibroids can be diagnosed using ultrasound, but an MRI scan may be helpful in better characterizing the fibroids and may be preferred by your interventional radiologist to rule out other conditions. [9] In addition to confirming your diagnosis, these imaging techniques will allow your Fibroid Specialist to evaluate your treatment options.

    Patient at VIP Specialists getting an ultrasound test for uterine fibroids diagnosis
    An ultrasound is typically the first step in establishing a uterine fibroids diagnosis.

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    [1] Day Baird, D., Dunson, D. B., Hill, M. C., Cousins, D., & Schectman, J. M. (2003). High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: Ultrasound evidence. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 188(1), 100–107.
    [2] Zimmermann, A., Bernuit, D., Gerlinger, C., Schaefers, M., & Geppert, K. (2012). Prevalence, symptoms and management of uterine fibroids: An international internet-based survey of 21,746 women. BMC Women’s Health, 12(1), 6.
    [3] Pelage, J.-P., Cazejust, J., Pluot, E., Le Dref, O., Laurent, A., Spies, J. B., … Lacombe, P. (2005). Uterine Fibroid Vascularization and Clinical Relevance to Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Radiographics, 25, S99–S117.
    [4] Peddada, S. D., Laughlin, S. K., Miner, K., Guyon, J.-P., Haneke, K., Vahdat, H. L., … Baird, D. D. (2008). Growth of uterine leiomyomata among premenopausal black and white women. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(50), 19887–19892.
    [5] Khan, A. T., Shehmar, M., Gupta, J. K., & Gupta, J. (2014). Uterine fibroids: current perspectives. International Journal of Women’s Health, 6, 95–114.
    [6] Gupta, S., Jose, J., & Manyonda, I. (2008). Clinical presentation of fibroids. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 22(4), 615–626.
    [7] Duhan, N., & Sirohiwal, D. (2010). Uterine myomas revisited. European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 152(2), 119–125.
    [8] Elizabeth A Stewart (2015). Uterine Fibroids. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;372:1646-55.
    [9] Bulman, J.C., Ascher, S.M., Spies, J.B. (2012). Current Concepts in Uterine Fibroid Embolization. RadioGraphics, 32(6), 1735-1750.

    Medical Disclaimer
    The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients.