Uterine fibroids are muscular growths that appear in a woman's uterus during the childbearing years (usually at the age of 30-40 years). They are normally benign and not linked to an elevated risk of uterine cancer. Fibroids are also called myomas, leiomyomas, and fibromas.
By the age of 50, 40-80% of women get uterine fibroids. Most women, however, do not have any symptoms and might never be aware that they have fibroids.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
A majority of fibroids are symptomless and don't need any treatment beyond routine monitoring by the healthcare provider. The following are the common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids:
- Heavy bleeding with blood clots between or during periods.
- Longer than a week's worth of menstrual cycles.
- Pelvic pressure or discomfort.
- Increased urination frequency.
- Bladder emptying challenges.
- Pain during sexual activity.
- Persistent vaginal discharge.
- Severe abdominal bloating.
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Causes of Uterine Fibroids
Experts do not yet know what causes uterine fibroids, but some research and clinical experience hint at the below listed factors:
- Hormones: During each menstrual cycle, the hormones progesterone and estrogen thicken the uterine lining. These may also cause the growth of fibroids.
- Pregnancy: Because of the increased synthesis of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, fibroids may form and develop quickly.
- Heredity: Fibroids might be inherited as it tends to run in the family.
There are a few other factors that can also cause uterine fibroids:
- Extracellular matrix.
- Other factors such as insulin-like growth factors.
- Genetic changes.
When to See a Doctor for Uterine Fibroids?
While fibroids are common, most women who have them remain unaware. However, if you’re experiencing the below-mentioned symptoms, it is time to consult a doctor:
- Persistent pelvic discomfort.
- Inability to fully empty your bladder.
- Very long, painful, or heavy periods.
- Low red blood cell count without apparent cause (anaemia).
- Bleeding between cycles or spotting.
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Treatment Options for Uterine Fibroids
There are many ways to treat fibroids. Age, location, size, quantity, symptoms, and whether or not pregnancy is desired will all influence the treatment modality. Treatment may not be necessary for asymptomatic cases of fibroids. If you’re looking for treatment options, visit the nearest fertility hospital in Varthur.
The following are some possible uterine fibroids treatments:
- Observant Waiting: The doctor may recommend just watchful waiting in cases of minor symptoms or no symptoms at all. After menopause, the fibroids may get smaller or even disappear.
- Medications: The medications can help alleviate the symptoms. The fibroids may become smaller, but they don't make them disappear.
- OTC pain medication: To manage pain due to fibroids.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone: To shrink the fibroids usually before surgery for easy removal.
- Iron supplements: To treat anaemia caused due to fibroids.
- Oral therapies: Oriahn, a combination drug of Elagolix (a GnRH antagonist), estrogen, and progestin to treat severe menstrual bleeding.
- Progestin-releasing IUD: Can aid in reducing severe bleeding.
- Surgery: Surgery to remove fibroids can be the only option for relief in some circumstances. This can be done in the following ways:
- Endometrial Ablation: The lining of the uterus is either removed or destroyed using a laser, wire loops, electric current, microwaves, hot water, or freezing.
- Myomectomy: This procedure removes fibroids while attempting to protect good tissue, either through abdominal surgery or laparoscopy. If the patient wants to get pregnant someday, this might be the best option.
- Hysterectomy: The uterus is entirely removed during this procedure. The only method for completely curing fibroids is this. Although it's a major operation, it can be performed using minimally invasive approaches such as laparoscopy or robotic-assisted techniques.
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), or uterine artery embolization (UAE): During this operation, gel or plastic particles are inserted into the adjacent blood arteries to limit the flow of blood to the fibroids. The fibroids shrink as a result.
A large percentage of women experience uterine fibroids at some point in their lives. Some women experience no symptoms at all while others struggle with challenging symptoms. Consult a physician if the pelvic pain just won't go away to rule out uterine fibroids. There are several treatment options available to manage uterine fibroids. Get in touch with the best fertility clinic in Varthur. Request an appointment at Apollo Fertility, Varthur. Call 1860 500 4424 to book an appointment.
Yes, they may. After menopause or pregnancy, fibroids may recede in some women due to the decrease in hormones.
Depending upon the position of the uterine fibroids, they may cause problems in conceiving or carrying the pregnancy to full term. If they are present in the fallopian tubes, they may cause blockage. Similarly, they may come in the way of implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus.
No, uterine fibroids are benign growths which are quite common, and they do not increase the risk of getting uterine cancer. The nearest fertility clinic in Varthur will give you all the information you need.
Avoid fatty dairy products, red meat, processed foods, alcohol, smoking, and caffeine if you have uterine fibroids, as these can worsen the symptoms. Additionally, you should regularly do your workout and avoid gaining weight.
Obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, and stress have been shown to aggravate the symptoms of uterine fibroids.