Fibroids are the growth tumors of the uterus also called uterine leiomyomas or myomas found in the female reproductive system. The mostly symptoms associated with fibroids are a heavy menstrual period, pain on the uterus. Fibroids are not cancerous and sometimes hard to determine if a mass in the uterus is a common fibroid or a rare cancerous tumor, 99 percent of fibroid cases are benign (non-cancerous). These tumors are not associated with cancer and don’t increase a woman’s risk for uterine cancer.
Fibroids are commonly affected by women aged in their 30s and 40s. They tend to shrink back in women who have passed menopause. 30 to 77 percent of women may develop fibroids sometime during their childbearing, nevertheless about one-third of these fibroids are large enough to be detected by a health care provider during diagnosis”
Causes of fibroids?
Recently, the exact cause of fibroids is not yet known, genetic mutations have been found in the cells of fibroids in about 70 percent of cases.
Fibroids tend to affect women of child-bearing age because their growth seems to be stimulated by the female sex hormones progesterone. and oestrogen The fibroids usually shrink after menopause when the levels of these hormones tend to stop increasing in size
Risk of fibroids may be increased if you:
- have a family history of fibroids
- started your periods at an early age
- have never been pregnant
- are overweight or obese
- have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); or
- drink excessive amounts of alcohol
- have had few pregnancies
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
A few cases, women who have fibroids may not have any symptoms, or likely to have only mild symptoms, while other women are likely to have more severe disruptive symptoms. The following are mostly the common symptoms for uterine fibroids, after all, each individual may experience symptoms differently. This Symptoms of uterine fibroids may include:
- prolonged menstrual periods
- heavy periods
- Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
- Pelvic pain or feeling of pressure in the pelvic area
- Frequent urination or difficulty in urinating
- Low back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- menstrual period pain
- A firm mass often found near the middle of the pelvis, which can be felt by the physician
In a few cases, the prolonged or heavy menstrual periods, or the abnormal bleeding between periods, can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, which requires a serious treatment.
Types of fibroids
The uterine walls are composed of muscle casing Fibroids to grow in different parts of the uterus the pear-shaped organ located between the bladder and rectum. Fibroids can be grouped into 3 categories depending on where they grow.
- Subserosal fibroids spread on the outside of the uterus .
- Intramural fibroids Which develop within the wall of the uterus. This is the most common type.
- Submucosal fibroids grow beneath the inner lining of the uterus and expanded from the uterine wall into the uterine cavity. Submucosal fibroids could also grow on a stalk and are the least common type.
these types of fibroids may produce different symptoms.
How fibroids are diagnosed
Fibroids are often found during a routine pelvic examination. The doctor will ask about any symptoms suggestive of fibroids and performs a physical examination.
An ultrasound scan will be done to help confirm a diagnosis of fibroids. Images are taken by passing an ultrasound probe over your lower abdomen. Some images may need to be taken trans-vaginally. This may involve having a special ultrasound probe placed in your vagina for some minutes.
However other investigations are also recommended, such as magnetic resonance imagingm (MRI scan). An MRI scan will provide detailed images to help in making the diagnosis and decides on the best treatment to give.
At times, a hysteroscopy may be recommended. The test involves inserting an instrument with a camera on the end into the vagina and uterus to view the inner lining of the uterus. A small tissue sample may be taken during this procedure.
The doctor will recommend you have some blood tests to be sure of the diagnosis.
Fibroids don’t always cause symptoms, they are often discovered as a result of a routine gynaecological examination or scan that is done for another reason.
Treatment for fibroids
Because most fibroids cease growing or may also shrink as a woman advances menopause, the health care provider may utterly advise “watchful waiting.” With this approach, the health care provider observes the woman’s traits carefully to ensure that there are no important changes or increases and that the fibroids are not growing.
In women whose fibroids are large or are generating significant symptoms, treatment may be necessary. Treatment will be determined by the health care provider(s) based on:
- Your tolerance for specific medications, systems, or therapies
- Your feeling or preference
- The extent of the disease
- Your excitement for pregnancy
- Expectations for the development of the disease
- Your overall health and medical history
In common, treatment for fibroids may include:
- Conservative surgical therapy. Conservative surgical therapy does a system called a myomectomy. By this way, physicians will remove the fibroids, simply leave the uterus uninjured to enable a future pregnancy.
- Uterine artery embolization. Also called uterine fibroid embolization, uterine artery embolization (UAE) is a newer minimally-invasive system. The arteries providing blood to the fibroids are known, then embolized (blocked off). The embolization cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids, hence shortening them. Health care providers proceed to evaluate the long-term implications of this procedure on fertility and regrowth of the fibroid mass.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists). The approach reduces levels of estrogen and triggers a “medical menopause.” Sometimes GnRH agonists are used to shrinking the fibroid, making surgical treatment relaxing.
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers. This type of drug is often effective for women who undergo occasional pelvic pain or distress.
- Hysterectomy. Hysterectomies mean the surgical extraction of the intact uterus. Fibroids remain the number one cause for hysterectomies in the United States.
- Anti-hormonal agents. Some medications oppose estrogen such as progestin and Danazol and develop effectively in treating fibroids. Anti-progestins, which prevent the action of progesterone, are also sometimes used.
Fibroids, Pregnancy, and Fertility
Fibroids do not usually affect fertility or pregnancy, although occasionally both are associated with problems such as problem getting pregnant, childbirth complications, miscarriage, and premature birth. Submucosal fibroids are the common expected type to affect fertility and pregnancy.
If fibroids are held to be affecting your ability to get pregnant, removing the fibroids may be confirmed. If fibroids are discovered while you are pregnant, the doctor, midwife or obstetrician/gynecologistwill be able to give you information and advice on the likely influences on your pregnancy and whether treatment is required.
Prevention of fibroid
Fibroids seem to occur more frequently in women who are overweight, it may be protective to maintain a normal weight. Research has that suggests certain lifestyle habits which can reduce your chances of fibroid.
The research found that high-sugar diets may be associated with a greater risk in some women. Eating fresh fruits and cruciferous vegetables like a broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens could lower your chances. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, folate, Vitamins C, E, and K, and minerals. Frequent exercise can also lower your chances of uterine fibroids.