You may have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids or may know someone who suffers from it. But do you know what uterine fibroids actually are?
Fibroids are tumours or growths that occur in your womb. They are non-cancerous in nature and are usually not life-threatening. They are also known are myoma or leiomyoma.
The sizes can vary from that resembling a green pea to one that can be as large as a football. They are benign, which means they may continue to grow without getting spread. The presence of uterine fibroids is not seen as a predicting factor for cancer.
The reason behind the occurrence of uterine fibroids cannot be determined for sure. It is known that the hormones in the female body play a big role in its growth. It is seen that the fibroids grow over a long period of time, especially during the raise in oestrogen levels.
It is important to know more about uterine fibroids if you or someone near and dear to you is suffering with it. Today, we bring to you some of the facts that you need to know about uterine fibroids. Read on to know more.
Prevalence Of Fibroids
Around 25 to 50 percent of Indian women have reported the occurrence of fibroids. People of the African descent are more likely to suffer from it and the Caucasian women are the least likely to have fibroids.
Obesity And Being Overweight
Being overweight can increase the chances of the growth of uterine fibroids. This is because overweight women have higher levels of oestrogen in their bodies.
Pregnancy And Fibroids
Pregnancy can worsen any existing fibroid due to the spike in oestrogen levels. Ironically, pregnancies are helpful in preventing the occurrence of fibroids. The more babies you have, the less chances of you having a fibroid.
Contraceptive Methods And Fibroids
Going on the pill or using contraceptive drugs and injections for a long duration can help ward off the formation of uterine fibroids.
Fibroids And Infertility
Fibroids are not commonly associated with infertility. If you have fertility problems, ask your doctor to investigate and look for other reasons. If no other reasons can be found, you may go for a treatment for the fibroids. Surgery is the most common and the most effective route for treatment.
Also Read: Risk Factors Of Fibroids
Fibroids And Miscarriages
Though fibroids may not be related to fertility, they are thought to be a major cause of miscarriages. If you are in the early stages of pregnancy and are suffering from fibroids, you must be careful and take all the precautions to avoid a miscarriage.
Symptoms Of Fibroids
The symptoms of fibroids include painful menstruation, heavy or prolonged menstruation, frequent or painful urination, feeling of fullness in the abdomen or bloating of the abdomen, back pain, constipation and infertility.
Diagnosis Of Fibroids
Fibroids are first discovered by a check-up by the doctor. He/she will feel around for lumps. If you have symptoms of fibroids along with the lump, you may be asked to perform an ultrasound examination to confirm.
Treatment Of Fibroids
Fibroids most commonly do not require any treatment and the doctor may give you pills to cure the symptoms. If the fibroid is too large or you have extreme symptoms like pain or very heavy bleeding, the doctor may look at other possible treatment options.
The most common treatment given is surgery. But there are risks that are involved, including fertility problems. Other surgical and non-invasive methods include the cutting-off of blood supply to the fibroid, destroying the cells that form the fibroid, removal of the fibroid, removal of the uterine lining and removal of the uterus altogether.
The other methods are to prescribe a hormone-regulating drug that stops the growth of the fibroid.