Fibroids!!! The most renowned gynecological problem seen in woman these days. Woman get alarmed by hearing the word “fibroid” when they consult a Gynecologist about their fertility issues or menstrual problems. Most of the woman don’t have right knowledge about what fibroids exactly are. To spread the awareness among woman, here is a brief explanation about fibroids.
Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours made of smooth muscle cells that develop in the woman’s uterus. These have different names such as “Uterine fibroids”, “Leiomyomas” or “Myomas” in Medical terminology. The size of these tumours can range from the size of a bean to as big as a melon.
No one has a clear picture about the causes of fibroids. But the main factors which tend to occurrence of fibroids are hormonal and genetic. Following are some of the important factors which cause fibroids:
- Fibroids can occur mostly during the woman’s reproductive years as the estrogen and progesterone levels are high. During pregnancy, fibroids tend to swell as the estrogen levels are high. While they shrink during the menopause stage because of low estrogen levels.
- Family history of having fibroids will increase the risk. Women with a family member or close relative with fibroids have a greater risk.
- Overweight can be one of the main cause of fibroids in women.
- Some evidences prove that high intake of caffeine, alcohol and having lot of red meat increases your risk of fibroids. While increased intake of green vegetables and fruits might reduce the risk.
The symptoms can vary from woman to woman. Some woman who have fibroids have no symptoms, or have only mild symptoms, while other women have severe symptoms. Each individual may experience the symptoms differently. But the most common symptoms seen are listed below:
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods which may cause Anaemia.
- If the fibroids are large, there may be swelling in the lower abdomen.
- Severe backache
- Pain during intercourse
- Fertility issues
- Pregnancy problems
- Repetitive miscarriages
- Pelvic pain
In most cases, as symptoms are rarely felt, one can’t diagnose fibroids by self-examination. Fibroids can be only diagnosed by going through certain medical examinations such as,
If the woman has no symptoms and the fibroids are not affecting her day-to-day life, she may not receive any treatment at all. Since fibroids grow more as a result of high estrogen levels, some medications are prescribed by Gynecologists to lower the production of estrogen which does not affect fertility.
Depending on the symptoms and size of the fibroids, patient need to undergo surgery. The surgical procedures to treat fibroids are mentioned below:
- Hysterectomy: Hysterectomy is the procedure in which the uterus is removed. It is mostly suggested for the woman who have large fibroids. In some cases, ovaries are also removed along with uterus.
- Myomectomy: Myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove fibroids from the uterus. This procedure is highly suggested to the woman who want to become pregnant.
- Laparoscopy: Woman who have fibroids in small size and less in number, are suggested to undergo laparoscopy. This procedure is usually reserved for removing one or two fibroids that are growing on the outside of the uterus.