An Overview of Fibroids
Posted on : 2019-Dec-21 15:32:15
Fibroids are abnormal growth of fibrous connective tissues that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. It is most commonly seen in nulliparous women.
Fibroids are common muscular tumours that develop on the walls of a woman’s uterus (womb). Fibroids are mostly non-cancerous tumours. Rarely they might be cancerous, i.e. less than 0.1%.
About 70% – 80% of women develop uterine fibroids in their lifetime by the age of 50, but every woman may not develop symptoms or require treatment. In most of the cases, they are harmless. Fibroids varies from person to person in size, shape, and location. These fibroids can develop in multiple places even in the same women, and the size can range from a pea seed to a watermelon.
Let’s Know Some Facts About Uterine Fibroids
- Fibroids also called leiomyomas, myomas or fibromas.
- Usually, fibroids develop during the reproductive years where the estrogen levels will be higher. They are non-cancerous tumours and very slow-growing.
- Almost 30% of women might suffer from these fibroids by the age of 35 years and about 20% to 80% by the age of 50 years
- Most fibroids are not complicated, but in very few cases, they may become severe.
- Experts are striving hard to find the root cause of fibroids in order to provide effective treatment.
Types Of Fibroids
Basically, fibroids are classified into various types based on the location they occur on or within the uterus.
- Intramural Fibroids: These type of fibroids are seen in 75% of women. Mostly they are benign tumours and develop within the uterus walls. They can grow bigger, expanding your womb.
- Subserosal Fibroids: These type of fibroids are seen in 15% of women. They are developed under serosa, the membrane lining outside the uterus. They can grow into a giant stalk of tissues which makes the womb look bigger one side.
- Submucosal Fibroids: These type of fibroids are seen in 5% of women. Mostly they are developed inside the uterine cavity, under the inner lining of the uterus. These are rare or less commonly seen.
- Cervical Fibroids: These type of fibroids are seen in 2.5% of women with fibroids. Mostly they develop in the cervix area the lower part of your uterus.
- Pedunculated Fibroids: These type of fibroids are seen in 2.5% of women with fibroids. They develop either inside or outside of the uterine cavity. They grow like a stalk of tissues called as a pedicle which looks like a mushroom.
What Are The Causes Of Uterine Fibroids?
The root cause of uterine fibroids is yet to find. Usually, they are seen to happen in the reproductive years of a woman where the levels of estrogen and progesterone are higher.
- Hormones: Ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that regenerate the lining of the uterus during every menstrual cycle, which may stimulate the growth of fibroids.
- Genetics: In some studies, it is found that different genes other than the genes in regular uterine muscle cells are present in fibroids. So genetics can also cause fibroids.
- Hereditary: History of fibroids in your family members can also lead to this condition.
Risk Factors Increasing Uterine Fibroids
Here are some of the risk factors that increase the chance of developing uterine fibroids, which include:
- The risk of getting fibroids increases with age, especially in your 30s or 40s during menopause.
- Being obese or overweight.
- Fibroids are observed during pregnancy months in women because of the high estrogen levels.
- Women taking birth control pills also prone to develop fibroids.
- The consumption of red meat, alcohol, and caffeine increases the risk of effecting from this condition.
- African-American women are at more risk of developing uterine fibroids than white women.
However, introducing some diet changes in your daily, like taking more fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of fibroids. Childbearing can also reduce the risk of developing fibroids, i.e. giving birth to a baby can reduce the risk of developing fibroids in most of the women.
Symptoms Of Uterine Fibroids
Most of the time, fibroids go symptomless and might not even cause any problems. Sometimes, you may not know that you have a fibroid unless it is found during regular check-ups.
One out of every three women with fibroids will experience the symptoms of fibroids, which include:
- Abnormal bleeding from uterus or painful and irregular periods, sometimes with blood clots is the most common symptom seen in women with fibroid
- Pelvic pain
- Enlarged abdomen or uterus
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Longer menstruation
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Pressure or fullness in the lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Lower back pain and leg pain
Some other symptoms include:
- Complications during labor
- Fertility issues
- Pregnancy problems
Symptoms might not develop if the fibroids are smaller and during menopause, because, the production hormones that stimulate the growth of fibroids will decrease after menopause and tend to shrink.
How To Treat Fibroids?
There were a lot of treatment options available to treat fibroids, which include medical, non-surgical and surgical treatment.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists that help to treat fibroids as they block the production hormones.
- Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) can relieve heavy bleeding caused by fibroids.
- Tranexamic acid medication is taken to ease heavy menstrual periods.
- Oral contraceptives pills that control menstrual bleeding
- NSAIDs that help to relieve pain related to fibroids
- Vitamins and iron for menstrual bleeding and anaemia
Noninvasive Treatment Procedure
An MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is a noninvasive treatment option where sound waves are focussed onto the fibroids to destroy them.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Specific procedures can help to eliminate uterine fibroids without open surgery which include:
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Uterine artery embolization
- Laparoscopic myomectomy
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy
- Endometrial ablation
Traditional surgical procedures
- Abdominal myomectomy
If fibroids are associated with fertility or pregnancy issues, they should be removed because they may lead to miscarriages. To know more, contact our expert at Angels Fertility Clinic. Why take a chance over your health issue, if you observe any of the symptoms or if you feel you are risk come to us right away for better treatment.