Healthwise Maui

Q: What are fibroids?

Dr. Christy Takemoto, OB-GYN, Maui Lani Physicians & Surgeons: Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that form in and around a woman’s uterus. It’s estimated that around 35 percent of women have experienced fibroids by age 35, and as many as 80 percent by age 50. While these growths are benign, they can cause uncomfortable or even painful symptoms, including heavy, painful periods, pain in the lower back, abdominal discomfort, painful sex, frequent urination, constipation and anemia. For women who want to get pregnant there can be additional complications, like problems with fertility, pregnancy and labor, and an increased likelihood of miscarriage. About 30 percent of women with fibroids experience symptoms, while many don’t even realize they have them.

Many women find that fibroids diminish naturally after menopause. But if you’re experiencing symptoms that are affecting your quality of life, treatment is available. For many, medication may manage symptoms and provide relief. In other cases, additional invasive or noninvasive intervention may be necessary. Some interventions can shrink the fibroids themselves while others can remove them but keep the uterus intact. For women who don’t want to have more children, a hysterectomy to remove the uterus altogether will get rid of fibroids and fibroid symptoms once and for all.

Q: I am pregnant with my first child and will give birth at Maui Memorial. What can I do to prepare that will lessen the anxiety and stress I’m already starting to feel about delivery day?

Malia Joyo-Bui, nurse manager, MMMC Labor & Delivery Department: Congratulations! Don’t worry, feeling nervous is normal and especially with your first child. We are honored to be a part of this special moment. We find that having a better sense of where you will give birth, even knowing what the rooms look like, helps to ease anxiety. We encourage you to join one of our weekly tours for expectant mothers and their family every Wednesday (except holidays) at 4 p.m. Additionally, we offer a Childbirth Education Class once a month on a Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This class includes the hospital tour. The class schedule for this year can be found on our website (www.mauihealthsystem.org) on the MMMC “services” page, under “Maternity Services.” For more information, or to register for the class or tour, call (808) 242-2352. You can also pick up a registration form from your obstetrics provider.

The Childbirth Education Class will cover topics that include understanding the labor and birth process, breastfeeding, newborn care, preregistration, what to bring to the hospital, visiting hours and visitor policies, security, and many other common yet important questions and answers.

We also recommend preregistering prior to your due date so the check in process on delivery day is faster and less stressful. Forms are available at the admitting desks in the MMMC main lobby.

We look forward to caring for you and your family here at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

* Physicians, providers and administrative staff who practice at Maui Health System hospitals and clinics answer questions from the public in “Healthwise Maui,” which appears on Thursdays. Maui Health System operates Maui Memorial Medical Center, Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lana’i Community Hospital and accepts all patients. To submit a question, go to the website at mauihealthsystem.org/contact.