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Is fibroids a serious health issue for women
13 Dec 2021
Is fibroids a serious health issue for women image

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are unusual growths that grow on a women’s uterus. And in some instances, they can cause serious abdominal pain and severe flow at periods. But mostly they cause very less or no symptoms at all.

Fibroids or leiomyomas can vary from pea-shaped to large structures which deform the uterus. But usually, fibroids don’t cause cancer.

Many women have fibroids by the age of 50. But they are overlooked as they do not show any symptoms. Your health expert detects fibroids at the time of a prenatal ultrasound or a pelvic exam.

What are the different types of fibroid?

Classification of fibroids is mainly done according to the region of formation in the uterus. Depending upon this fibroids are mainly classified into four:

  1. Intramural fibroids

Intramural fibroids are the most regularly found fibroids. They usually grow between the muscle of the uterus. Intramural fibroids can be very small or sometimes large structures which deform the uterus. 

Intramural fibroids can be classified again into:

  • Fundal intramural fibroids
  • Posterior intramural fibroids
  • Anterior intramural fibroids
  1. Subserosal fibroids

Subserosal fibroids or pedunculated fibroids are a type of fibroids that grows outside the uterus. But as time passes they can grow bigger and can cause severe pain and induce pressure on neighboring organs. 

  1. Pedunculated fibroids

Pedunculated fibroids are those types of fibroids that are attached to the uterus by a stem-like structure called a peduncle. Like all other fibroids, they are also harmless and non-cancerous uterus growths.

  1. Submucosal fibroids

These types of fibroids are usually attached to the endometrium. The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus. Submucosal fibroids are seen in the uterus individually or in clusters.

How do I check myself for fibroids?

Many women do not have any symptoms or signs associated with fibroids. But in some women fibroids can be serious as they can induce several symptoms and issues.

Symptoms associated with a fibroid depend upon many factors such as the location where they develop, size, and the number of fibroids associated. You can check the presence of fibroids by knowing the signs and symptoms such as:

  1. Heavy bleeding than usual during periods
  2. Periods continuing for more than a week
  3. Severe pelvic pain
  4. Tendency to urinate frequently
  5. Convulsion
  6. Backache
  7. Leg pain

When should you see a doctor about fibroids?

You should consider consulting a doctor if you have the above symptoms. Moreover, you should immediately visit a doctor if you have:

  1. Difficulty in emptying your urinary bladder
  2. Anemia or low red blood cells count
  3. Continuous pelvic pain
  4. Heavy and non-stop periods
  5. Spotting between periods

What is the main cause of fibroids?

To date no there is no exact reason for fibroids. But according to health experts, many factors may influence the formation of fibroids. Some of them are:

  1. Genetic mutation

Researches show that fibroids contain very different genes from those found in normal muscle cells of the uterus. 

  1. Hormonal effects

Estrogen and progesterone, the two main hormones that promote healthy sex characteristics and ensure fertility in women can also be responsible for the growth of uterine fibroids.

Fibroid cells contain usually contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors. It is also found that fibroids tend to shrink after menopause as the production of estrogen and progesterone decreases after menopause.

  1. ECM (Extra Cellular Matrix)

Extra Cellular Matrix promotes cells to stick together. Fibroid cells have an increased amount of ECM and it promotes growth characteristics.

  1. Pregnancy

Pregnancy can stimulate the rate of fibroid growth. During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone production of a women’s body increases, and thus these hormones promote the growth of fibroids.

Besides, many other factors can promote the growth of uterine fibroids as growth factors such as insulin-like growth factors which usually promote uterine fibroid growth.

Who are at risk of uterine fibroids?

Fibroids are mostly seen in women who are:

  1. Pregnant
  2. At the age of 30 or above
  3. Obese

What is the best treatment for fibroids?

There are several medical procedures as well as home remedies for treating fibroids. Some of the home remedies for treating fibroids are:

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Massage
  3. Yoga
  4. Dietary changes such as avoiding meat 
  5. Consume green leafy vegetables
  6. Add fishes like tuna to your diet

Your doctor may adopt the following methods to treat your fibroids

Medication

Your doctor will prescribe medicines that control hormonal production. Some of the main medicines used are:

  • Cetrotide
  • Ganirelix acetate
  • Oriahnn
  • Elagolix

Surgery

You will need surgery if you have a large number of fibroids in your uterus. Myomectomy is the surgical method used to remove uterine fibroids. Laparoscopic surgery is also used in some cases.

What happens if fibroids go untreated?

When left untreated, fibroids can cause huge health risks. So as time passes, fibroids grow both in number and also in size. This can cause pelvic pain as well as heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle.

If you have any symptoms associated with fibroids you should not leave them carelessly. Because sometimes treatments at the early stage can prevent further complications. Visit a gynecologist if you have any queries or you are doubtful about any symptoms you are facing.

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