Uterine Fibroids: Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

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Uterine fibroids are the non-cancerous growths in the uterus which occur during the childbearing years of a woman. Also referred to as leiomyomas, myoma or fibromyoma, these fibroids vary in size. They can be small enough to be invisible to naked eye or large enough to be the size of a Football to cause discomfort.

What are Uterine Fibroids

Cause of Uterine Fibroids

The causes of uterine fibroids are not completely known but it mostly occurs due to genetic or hormonal factors. Fibroids are oestrogen dependent and are not normally seen before puberty and after menopause. However, due to increased oestrogen production during pregnancy, they tend to multiply; and due to reduced oestrogen production after menopause, fibroids shrink. Obesity has also been linked to the increased risk of fibroids.

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Types of Fibroids

Fibroids are classified on the basis of the location they show themselves. The types of fibroids are:

Types of Fibroids

Symptoms

Uterine fibroids are seen in 25 to 30% of the women, wherein 50% of these cases show no symptoms which leads to women often missing them. However, the signs and symptoms depend on the location and fibroids’ size.

Menstrual Symptoms:

Menstrual Symptoms

Symptoms When Large-sized Fibroids are Pressed to Bladder/Rectum:

Fibroids are Pressed to Bladder

Reproductive Symptoms:

Reproductive Symptoms

How are Fibroids Diagnosed?

Fibroids are most often found during the physical exam.

Other tests may include:

  • Trans Vaginal Ultrasound
  • Pelvic MRI
  • Hysteroscopy

Complications of Fibroids

Dangerous anemia due to heavy bleeding.

Complications of Fibroids

What Helps To Manage Fibroids?

There are various measures which can help in managing fibroids:

  • Dietary changes
    • Avoiding red meat and high calorie food
    • Consuming High flavonoids food like green leafy vegetables
    • Switch to Tuna and Salmon
  • Stress Management
  • Weight loss

Helps To Manage Fibroids

Treatment

For asymptomatic cases, no treatment is required usually, however, for symptomatic cases, the treatment is basis the symptoms and the location of the fibroids.

Normally, surgical options are considered as a treatment choice for women facing infertility. Also, to manage pain, control bleeding and reducing the size of fibroids, medicines are recommended.

Treatment

  • Uterine fibroid embolization: Herein, embolic agents are inserted through a minimally invasive procedure so as to cut off the blood supply to the fibroids. This leads to the shrinking and perishing of fibroids.
  • Operative hysteroscopy: This procedure requires no incision. Herein, the uterine cavity is first visualised by an instrument called Hysteroscope. Then, instruments that are used to remove fibroids are inserted via vagina and cervix into the uterus. This procedure is done to remove submucous and intramural fibroids.
  • Laparoscopic methods: Herein, laparoscope is introduced to the abdomen through a small incision to access the fibroids which are then broken down and sucked out through the laparoscope. This method is used to remove intramural and subserous fibroids.

If you are facing fibroid symptoms, get in touch with a gynaecologist immediately to seek consultation from an expert healthcare provider.

When is the Treatment Needed?

There are a few signs and symptoms that indicate the need for treatment:

  • Heavy or painful menstrual periods which lead to anaemia
  • Bleeding between period cycles
  • Uncertainty if the growth is a fibroid or tumour
  • Increase in fibroid growth
  • Infertility or reproductive issues
  • Pelvic pain
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