What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroid is a common reproductive health issue that many women face. These fibroids are abnormal growths in the lining of the uterus.  Uterine fibroid also called myomas or leiomyomas is a noncancerous tumor of a woman’s uterus (womb) that commonly forms during childbearing years of a woman’s life. These tumors may grow singly or in clusters within the wall of the uterus or get attached to it. Such fibroids develop in different shapes and sizes in the uterus. In the initial stage of development, uterine fibroids may or may not cause any symptoms.

Uterine fibroids are the most general form of tumors in the uterus and can lead to excessive bleeding during menstruation, pain in the pelvic region, and recurrent urination. Women are most vulnerable to uterine fibroids at the age of 40s and early 50s. In rare cases, it may lead to cancer known as uterine sarcoma.

Symptoms you may notice when you suffer from uterine fibroids

female having pain due to uterine fibroids

  • Excessive menstrual flow with blood clots.
  • Occasional bleeding when not menstruating (spotting).
  • The recurrent urge for urination.
  • Bloating in the abdominal area.
  • Pelvic pain and cramping
  • Constant pressure on the pelvis
  • miscarriage
  • A problem in conceiving a baby
  • Painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia).

(Also Read: How do uterine fibroids affect pregnancy?)

Factors associated with the growth of uterine fibroids

  • Being obese or overweight can be a cause.
  • Not been pregnant
  • Stress
  • Frequent and excessive consumption of alcohol
  • High blood pressure
  • Early-onset of periods
  • Deficiency of vitamin D
  • Prolonged use of contraceptive
  • Menstruation before the age of 10
  • More likely in African American woman

Some less known facts about uterine fibroids

fibroids in the uterus

  • The growth of fibroids is the leading cause of the removal of the uterus. This procedure is called a hysterectomy.
  • Fibroids are tumors that start in the muscle tissues of the uterus. They can grow inside the uterine cavity, attached to a uterine wall or on the surface of the uterus.
  • Uterine fibroids are muscle tissue and not fibrous tissue. The medical term for such uterine fibroid is leiomyoma.

Treatment Options for uterine fibroids

  • Scores of hysterectomies: Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are among the major conditions that contribute to the removal of the uterus. The doctors recommend the surgical treatment for uterine fibroids when they are very painful and other treatment options fail.
  • Myomectomy: It is a surgical procedure for removing uterine fibroids. In myomectomy, the doctors remove the fibroids and reconstruct the uterus.
  • Hysteroscopy-A hysteroscope is used to insert through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. Hysteroscopy can be diagnostic as well as operative.
  • Hormone therapy (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists): It is used to shrink the fibroid. Hormone therapy temporarily stops the production of estrogen and progesterone in the body. This results in a pseudo-menopause-like condition that ultimately reduces the uterine fibroids. Hormone therapy is very effective in dealing with uterine fibroids.
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization: This treatment hinders blood supply to the fibroid causing it to shrink. It is a minimally invasive treatment to cure the benign uterine fibroids that cause many discomforts. 
  • Ultrasound: This technique is used to destroy the fibroids. 

The Bottom Line

In severe cases of uterine fibroids, the doctor recommends undergoing hysterectomy. If the doctor advises you the same, it is wise to not delay the treatment as it will only make the condition more severe with time. You can contact us at Pristyn Care to know more about the procedure of hysterectomy. Our medical coordinators will get you in touch with the best of gynecologists.

Also Read: