Genetic Testing for Fibroids May Soon Become a Reality

For women who suffer from the symptoms of uterine fibroids, new studies are discovering more about the underlying factors that influence fibroids and endometriosis, which may lead to better treatments. Genetic testing for fibroids may soon become a reality.

Symptoms and Treatment Status for Fibroids

There are women with fibroids who are asymptomatic, but they are the lucky ones. Many others with these benign tumors experience intense pain during their menstrual cycle or between cycles in addition to excessive bleeding, fertility complications, and anemia. It is also common for fibroids to cause lower back pain and discomfort during intercourse.

The only known cure is to have a hysterectomy, but many women of child bearing age don’t want to take such drastic a step. Various minimally invasive procedures are available to treat fibroids, but sometimes their symptoms return. In addition, lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce symptoms along with recommendations like yoga, meditation, and OTC pain medication. Some individuals have also found success with hormone therapy treatments.

What a Recent Study Revealed About Fibroids and Endometriosis

Up until quite recently, age, family history, obesity, ethnic origin, and diet all seemed to be the only known risk factors for developing fibroids. It has also been known that women with endometriosis also had a higher risk of the onset of fibroids.

woman completing genetic testing

Among their many goals, a recent international study was conducted to define and clarify the link between fibroids and endometriosis. They discovered the following:

  • 400,000 women were included in the study and results concluded those with endometriosis have twice the risk of developing fibroids.
  • One new finding was that of the genes underlying fibroids, 4 had already been associated with endometriosis, but only three genomic regions are linked with excessive bleeding and fibroids.
  • They were able to identify 8 new genomic regions linked to uterine fibroids in addition to the 21 already discovered. Thus, the study identified new genes underlying fibroids as well as gain added information on the shared biology underlying both fibroids and endometriosis.

What This Means for Women with Fibroids

The study’s findings prove earlier hypotheses about the existence of a connection between endometriosis and fibroids. Now with these confirmed findings, it can become possible to develop better medications for the disease. In addition, understanding this natural process of developing fibroids may help researchers to discern what causes the condition to occur and find better treatments.

Contact Denver Fibroids if you are experiencing any symptoms of uterine fibroids so that our specialists can determine if treatment is necessary for you.

Request an Appointment