Where can I learn more about fibroid treatment options?
If you have been newly diagnosed with fibroid tumors or fear that you might have developed one or more fibroids, it is valuable to educate yourself on the condition and all of the treatment options available. These days, Internet research is, the preferred and most convenient method of obtaining information. With the vast amounts of medical information and fibroid-related websites that are floating around in cyberspace, however, you may not know where to start, or which online sources are reliable. For those fibroid sufferers who prefer to do research offline, certain sources are also more reliable than others. To ensure that the information you’re getting is trustworthy, follow these tips:
Government and Academic Websites
Not all websites are created equal, and bogus information can often be packaged in very fancy or official-looking websites. (Didn’t your mother warn you to not trust everything you read on the Internet?) Generally speaking, websites with URLs ending in “.gov” or “.edu” are going to be some of the most trustworthy sources of medical information, because their contents are produced and verified by government or educational institutions, respectively.
PubMed.gov [link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/] is operated by the National Institute of Health and is an extension of the US National Library of Medicine; it contains a massive database of research studies, clinical data, and medical journal articles. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operates WomensHealth.gov [http://www.womenshealth.gov/index.html], where fibroid patients can find a wealth of information on fibroids and their treatment.
Additionally, reputable medical schools with affiliated women’s health clinics typically provide general information on gynecological conditions, as well as information on fibroid treatments that their clinics perform and any clinical trials in which their institution is participating. The Women’s Health Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) operates a dedicated Comprehensive Fibroid Center [http://coe.ucsf.edu/coe/fibroid/index.html], where cutting-edge treatments and fibroid research are continually being performed.
Websites of National Health Organizations
In addition to government and academic websites, websites published by nationally-recognized associations, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s ReproductiveFacts.org [http://www.reproductivefacts.org/] can be good resources for information on gynecological conditions like Uterine Fibroids.
Websites of FDA-Regulated Products
Websites belonging to companies that develop and/or manufacture fibroid treatments (such as acessaprocedure.com), are also excellent resources for learning about your treatment options, since the accuracy of the information they contain must follow FDA requirements and are sometimes included in FDA audits. Companies manufacturing fibroid treatments typically offer ample information about the procedure, device, or drug or their website, and any product claims made on sites by these FDA-regulated products must be substantiated by clinical data. Be advised that such quality assurance does not necessarily exist, however, with the websites of companies that sell or endorse homeopathic or “alternative” fibroid treatments, however, because the claims of products or procedures of this nature may not have been approved or cleared by the FDA; thus, you may want to double-check any information obtained about your condition from those sites.
While you can probably find out everything you ever wanted to know about the condition and treatment of Uterine Fibroids on the Internet, a knowledgeable, licensed gynecologist is still the best source of advice on treating your individual case. As with any medical condition, no single treatment is appropriate for every patient. A physician has the ability to consider your unique medical history, state of health, and the nature/severity of your fibroids when recommending a course of treatment.
If you have not yet been diagnosed with fibroids and are experiencing abnormal symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, abdominal or lower back pain, and severe bloating, protect your health by seeing a doctor as soon as possible. Once you have seen a doctor and know exactly what you’re dealing with, you can start exploring your options for relieving those burdensome symptoms, treating their underlying cause, and moving on with your life.