Information you need to know about Uterine Fibroids in Women
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine Fibroids are cells that grow from the uterine muscle. There are types of uterine fibroids, also known as “myocardial infarction,” and can grow on the wall of the uterus and put pressure on the bladder or intestine. It can also grow inside the wall of the uterus, or even emerge from the wall of the uterus as a mass hanging by a thin leg into the uterine cavity or into the ectopic.
Fibroids may be as small as a pea bean or as large as a soccer ball, and they are always benign in approximation, no matter how large. Fibroids do not increase your risk of cancer. If the size of the fibroid is clearly large or growing on the outer surface of the uterine wall, the uterus may sometimes be pushed aside. The growth of the uterus may compress the bladder or intestines.
In rare cases, if the fibroid is large or if it grows in the lower part of the uterus, the uterus may close. In this situation, pregnant women may need to undergo cesarean delivery.
What Causes Uterine fibroids? Why do women get fibroids?
No one knows specifically what causes uterine fibroids, but the change in estrogen levels appears to play a role in their growth. When levels of estrogen are high because of pregnancy or birth control pills, for example; the growth rate of fibroids increases. About 20 percent of women of childbearing age suffer from fibroids but are few in women under the age of 30. It is rare to appear in young girls before they begin menstruation.
When women approach menopause and estrogen levels drop, their uterine fibroids are likely to diminish or almost disappear. No factors were found to increase the risk of fibroids but women of reproductive age.
What Are The Symptoms of Fibroids in Women?
Many women do not even know that they have fibroids. If there are obvious symptoms, it may include:
- A painful monthly menstrual cycle
- The menstrual cycle is very bleeding and persistent for a long time (which may lead to iron deficiency or anemia)
- Frequent urination or feeling disturbed by urination due to pressure on the bladder
- Feeling fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen
- Pelvic pain
- Back ache
- Infertility (inability to conceive)
How Is It diagnosed?
Most uterine fibroids are detected during routine internal examination when your doctor notices lumps in the uterus or in the case where the shape of the uterus is abnormal. If you have symptoms of frequent pain, your physician may request to put you on an Ultrasound Imaging Session to distinguish fibroids from tumors and other blocks that appear in the pelvic area. If the fibroids have grown on the inner lining of the uterus or within the uterine cavity, they can be seen also using a hysteroscopy, a thin, lighted tube that is inserted into the vagina to examine the cervix and inside of the uterus.
How Is It Treated?
Most fibroids do not need treatment unless the symptoms bother you and cause you problems. Your doctor will make a recommendation based on the following:
- The amount of pain or amount of blood you lose during your period
- The growth rate of fibroids
- Your Age, as fibroids shrink with the onset of menopause
- You want to have children
In rare cases, fibroids can contribute to infertility and in some surgical options it may cause infertility to women and their inability to reproduce. If you need treatment, there are a number of options you can consider (some of which are more widely available). These include:
- Endometriosis Removal: can be done for fibroids that have grown in the inner layer of the uterus using laser, a Hot Wire Loop, Electromagnetic waves or through the hot balloon treatment.
- Electrolysis of the fibrous tumor (electrotherapy) can be performed in a simple operation known as laparoscopy or endoscopy. The surgeon inserts a tool or probe into the form of a needle or sends a direct electrical current in the fibroblast and infects both the fibroblast and the blood vessels around it.
- Surgical Removal Procedure: it is an operation to remove fibroids and leave the uterus undamaged. This process is used for women who are still planning to have children. It is actually a major challenge, and can lead to more blood loss than in the hysterectomy.
- Fibroids Removal with Laparoscopic Technique: can be used in some cases, especially when fibroids grow outside the uterine cavity. If the fibroids develop within the uterine cavity, the fibro-hysterectomy will be performed by the hysterectomy that is inserted through the vagina.
- Hysterectomy: a process to remove the entire uterus. As a result, women are unable to have children. Although hysterectomy was the standard option for the treatment uterine fibroids, it is highly recommended primarily for women who are almost menopause, or women who are not concerned with infertility and the inability to have children, or who suffer from severe symptoms.
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a procedure done by a radiologist. It blocks blood flow to fibroids in the uterus. (It is also called uterine artery embolization.) For women who are not planning a pregnancy in the future, UFE is a possible option in place of surgery for fibroids
- Drugs: Women can use Drugs that reduce estrogen levels to temporarily reduce or stop fibroid growth, especially before surgery. However, since these drugs often cause menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness and low bone density, the treatment cycle usually lasts only 3-6 months. Fibroids continue to grow often as soon as this hormonal therapy stops.
- Herbal Remedies for Fibroids: Herbs and Green Tea have been proven to treat Uterus Fibroids and helped shrinking the Fibroids tumor.
Some treatments are more successful than others. For example, after the fibroids removal, there is a 25 percent chance of new fibroids growing within 10 years after the surgery. It is believed that the tumor-blocking artery prevents tumors from growing again, but more research is needed on this relatively new technique before any conclusions can be drawn. The only procedure that ensures non-recurrence of fibroids is hysterectomy.
Uterine Fibroids Questions and Answers:
Can Fibroids in Women Cause Fertility Problems?
There is evidence linking fibroids and low fertility. It has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage in the first and second stages of pregnancy, increasing the probability of premature birth. Fibroids have also been linked with the low success rate of fertility treatments.
However, there is no agreement on how and why this occurs because some women are pregnant and have a successful pregnancy even though they have relatively large fibroids in the womb. One theory says that fibroids mutilate the uterus in a way that affects pregnancy or fertilization, while the other theory says it weakens the ability to tolerate and continue pregnancy because the tumor affects the flow of blood. If you know you have uterine fibroids and you have problems with pregnancy, see your doctor so she can send you to a fertility specialist. The first phase of the work will focus on identifying and addressing any other possible causes of the fertility problem, if necessary.
Fibroids in Women alone may cause fertility problems in less than 3 percent of women. If this applies to you, your doctor may advise you to continue trying to conceive normally for up to two years, unless you have exceeded 34 years of age. In this case, it is best to try the treatment sooner rather than later, because fertility tends to decline rapidly with age.
It is unlikely that you will be asked to do Artificial insemination immediately, because there is little evidence that this improves your chances of pregnancy success. There is also a lack of evidence about whether a surgery helps women with fibroids get pregnant and have a successful pregnancy. Your doctor will help you decide on the best treatment option for your condition.
How can symptoms be alleviated?
If pain or bleeding continues or worsening during menstruation due to fibroids continues, consult your doctor immediately for options. In the meantime, you can try the following to relieve discomfort:
- Take painkillers to relieve cramps and body aches
- Rest in bed when symptoms get worse
- Eat iron-rich foods (such as lean red meat and spinach) and iron supplements (if your doctor advises you) to avoid anemia due to severe menstrual bleeding
- Put a bottle of hot water on your stomach or take a warm bath to help relieve the pain
What can be done to prevent fibroids in Women?
Unfortunately, there is no known method to prevent fibroids from growing or replicating