Fibroids are muscular tumours formed as a result of abnormal tissue growth on the walls of the uterus (womb). It is often referred to as leiomyomas or myomas. Most of the tumours that form are benign. There is a rare possibility for fibroids to transform into cancerous tumours.
Around 20% of women in their lifetime are likely to develop uterine fibroids. The fibroids formed are different in size, shape, and location in every woman. A woman might develop them in more than one location varying in size and shape. The fibroid can be as large as a watermelon or as small as a peanut.
In many cases, women with this condition do not have symptoms. However, some women might experience mild to severe symptoms which include:
- Abnormal bleeding, painful and irregular periods, often accompanied by blood clots, are the most common symptoms of fibroid.
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Enlarged abdomen or uterus
- Heavy menstrual cramps
- Painful sex
- Frequent urination
- Lower back pain & leg pain
- Complications during labour
- Pregnancy complications
Types Of Fibroids
Fibroids are categorized into several types depending on the location they grow.
- Intramural Fibroids (seen in 75% of women with fibroids)
- Subserosal Fibroids (seen in 15% of women with fibroids)
- Submucosal Fibroids (seen in 5% of women with fibroids)
- Cervical Fibroids (seen in 2.5% of women with fibroids)
- Pedunculated Fibroids (seen in 2.5% of women with fibroids)
Most fibroids are benign tumours and they can be diagnosed with the help of tests like Transvaginal Ultrasound, MRI, Hysterosonography and Sonohysterogram.
Causes Of Uterine Fibroids?
There is still no conclusive cause why uterine fibroids are developing. Most women tend to have them during the time of their reproductive lives when estrogen and progesterone levels are higher.
Hormones: Ovaries manufacture the vital hormones estrogen and progesterone. They are responsible for regenerating the uterus lining during the menstrual cycle every month, which may trigger fibroids’ growth.
Genetics: Several studies have found the presence of different genes in fibroids that are not present in uterine cells. So genetic changes might also lead to fibroids.
Hereditary: Fibroids can be passed down through your family.
Some other risk factors like increasing age, being obese or overweight, sedentary lifestyle etc. might increase the risk of uterine fibroids development.
Treatment For Uterine Fibroids
The treatment of fibroids may not be necessary for women who have no symptoms or discomfort. When the condition is accompanied by other complications, it must be treated as soon as possible.
Fibroids are best managed using a variety of treatment methods and it is different for every person depending on the size, location and type of the fibroids, age of the women, general health, the desire to have children and severity of symptoms.
The symptoms of fibroids are usually managed with medication. Over the counter (OTC) medications and NSAIDs for pain and some other medicines that work on hormones are given. These medicines stop the growth of fibroids and might shrink them.
Noninvasive Procedure To Treat Uterine Fibroids
MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is an option to treat fibroids. The procedure uses sound waves to destroy them by focusing on the fibroids.
Minimally Invasive Procedures To Treat Uterine Fibroids
Minimally invasive means there is no need for open surgery to eliminate uterine fibroids:
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE)
- Laparoscopic myomectomy
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy
- Endometrial ablation
Traditional Surgical Procedures To Treat Fibroids
Hysterectomy: This procedure is a permanent solution for uterine fibroids, especially when there are large fibroids.
Abdominal Myomectomy (open myomectomy): It’s a major surgical procedure to remove large and multiple fibroids.
If fibroids affect your fertility levels or are causing pregnancy problems, you should have them removed to prevent the risk of miscarriage. To know more, contact our expert Dr. Susmitha, top Gynecologist in Hyderabad. She has more than 10 years of experience and helped thousands of women with various fertility issues and pregnancy problems. If you have any problems related to your gynecological health, consult Dr. Susumitha for a better solution.