Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterus that often occur during a woman's childbearing years. They can be difficult and confusing to deal with, but it is important to remember that there can be many treatments and solutions available. Here, we will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for uterine fibroids.
What causes uterine fibroids?
While the exact cause of fibroids is unknown, few potential factors have been linked to the development of fibroids.
- The hormones like oestrogen and progesterone
- Growth hormones
- Major stress
What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?
Many women are unaware that they have fibroids as they don't experience any symptoms. This can be the case if the fibroids are small and are referred to as asymptomatic fibroids. Nevertheless, Uterine fibroids may also lead to unpleasant and occasionally painful symptoms, such as:
- A sensation of fullness in the lower abdomen (known as pelvic pressure)
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Excessive bleeding or painful menstruation
- Spotting between menstrual cycles
- Lower back pain
- Anaemia (low red blood cell count)
- Complications with reproduction
What are the types of Fibroids?
The types of fibroids vary depending on where they're located within or outside the uterus.
Intramural growth within the muscular wall of the uterus. As these fibroids grow, they can expand your uterus.
Subserosal fibroids grow on the Serosa membrane, which is outside of your uterus. They can potentially make the uterus appear lopsided.
A pedunculated fibroid forms when a subserosal fibroid develops a stem. This stem is a base that can hold a tumour and a pedunculated fibroid grows here.
Submucosal fibroids grow in the myometrium, which is the muscle layer located at the centre of the uterus. These tumours are not as prevalent as others.
When should you consult a doctor?
If you have been suffering from constant pelvic pain, abnormally heavy and painful menstrual cycles, bleeding or spotting between periods, difficulty urinating, or unexplained anaemia (low red blood cell count), it is important to check in with your doctor. Pelvic pain can have many causes and can vary from mild to intense. It could be an indication of an underlying issue and should be consulted.
To diagnose or treat Uterine Fibroids, consult doctors at Apollo Fertility/Cradle in JP Nagar. You can call 1860-500-1066 to schedule an appointment.
Treatment options for uterine fibroids
The type of treatment differs according to the size, number of fibroids and the symptoms you are experiencing. The best treatment plan for you will depend on your desires for future fertility. Speak to your doctor about your plans for fertility and your long-term goals when determining the best plan of action.
If the symptoms associated with the fibroids are not severe, your doctor may recommend monitoring the tumour for changes over several months. During this time, your doctor may perform regular check-ups and imaging studies to ensure the tumour is not growing or causing any further problems.
Though medication cannot prevent the fibroids from growing, they can shrink the tumour. While these medications are generally successful in shrinking, some people may experience side effects such as nausea and fatigue.
Birth Control pills, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, OTC (Over Counter Medications), Iron Supplements, and Tranexamic acid are some of the medications prescribed by doctors.
Surgery is another possible treatment option for urinary fibroids. Certain surgical procedures such as Myomectomy can preserve the uterus, allowing for potential pregnancies in the future, while other choices like Hysterectomy may cause damage to or eliminate the uterus.
Uterine fibroids are a common medical condition that affects many women. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatments of uterine fibroids can help you make informed decisions about your health. While the exact cause of uterine fibroids is still unknown, there are a variety of treatments available to help manage the condition.
Fibroids may reduce in size and subsequently alleviate symptoms post-menopause. This is due to the reduction in hormone levels. However, treatment may not be needed for small fibroids if they are not causing any distress.
It is possible to become pregnant while having uterine fibroids. Your doctor will create a monitoring plan if you already know you have fibroids when you're pregnant. In rare cases, this can cause preterm delivery or a C-section.
Fibroids are typically not cancerous. However, there is a very small chance (less than one in 1,000) that a cancerous fibroid can develop.
Researchers are still investigating the correlation between diet and fibroids. However, consuming a lot of ham and red meat, such as beef, has been associated with an increased chance of fibroids.
Fibroids are most frequently found in women of childbearing age (30-40 years) and are especially common in those who have never given birth. Furthermore, a woman's risk is increased by family history, obesity, and diet.