Fibroids affect 1 out of every 4 women, atleast once in their lifetime. Usually affecting women in the age group pf 30-50, fibroids can be as small as a pea or as big as a melon.
Fibroids increase or decrease in size and can even go away. Fibroids are sensitive to oestrogen levels and tend to swell when the level of oestrogen is high for example in heavier women typically weighing over 70 kgs or more.
On the other hand, fibroids can shrink when the level of oestrogen goes down and hence tend to shrink on weight loss or post menopause.
Fibroids are also called Uterine Myomas, Fibromyomas or Leiomyomas. Most Fibroids grow within the muscle tissue of the womb.
What are the common problems associated with fibroids ?
Heavy, Painful Periods: Bleeding is often heavier with fibroids and is often accompanied with pain. Besides affecting quality of life, heavy periods may lead to anaemia.
Bloating, Swelling: Large fibroids, may lead to swelling in the lower abdomen and discomfort in the lower abdomen and lower back.
Painful Intercourse: Fibroids growing near the vagina or the cervix may lead to pain during intercourse.
Bladder Problems: If a fibroid presses on the bladder which is in front of the womb, it may cause frequent urination.
Bowel Problems: Though extremely rare, if a fibroid presses on the bowel, which lies behind the womb, it may cause constipation.
Infertility: If the fibroids grow into the cavity of the womb, they can sometimes block fallopian tubes which can hamper conception and cause Infertility. In such cases an IVF often helps, post fibroid treatment.
Miscarriages: Though rare, sometimes fibroids may cause repeat miscarriages.
Early labour and possibility of a C-section: Sometimes fibroids, may result in an early labour and even a C -section instead of a normal delivery.
There are several ways to treat fibroids, which includes medical management and also surgical options.
Surgical options for treatment of fibroids are:
Hysterectomy: is removal of the womb when fibroids are causing symptoms and pain. If fibroid are small in size, the womb can be removed via the vagina and if the fibroids are large, then the womb may need to be removed via an incision in the lower abdomen.
Uterine Artery Embolisation: can also help with treatment of fibroids.
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