Uterine fibroids are tumors or lumps which grow on uterus (womb). They are also called uterine myomas, leiomyomas, or fibromas. Fibroids are invariably benign (non-cancerous) in 99% of the cases but at times can be abnormally large in size and trigger enormous abdominal pain and heavy periods. As per National Institutes of Health (NIH); approximately 70-80% women have Fibroids by the time they turn 50.
Women who are about to reach menopause stage are more susceptible to develop Fibroids because they are exposed to high levels of estrogen for a long period.
Though doctors are still unsure about exact causes of Uterine Fibroids, there are certain factors which play a role as per empirical and historical data:
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids can differ from woman to woman. Some women experience mild symptoms; while among some, there are no symptoms at all. In few cases, women cop extremely strong and troublesome symptoms.
Abnormally prolonged menstrual periods
Excessive bleeding during menstrual periods
Aching during sex
Pain in lower abdomen
Fibroids usually don’t adversely affect women’s ability to get pregnant. A lot of women who have fibroids conceive naturally. However, in some cases, fibroids — especially submucosal fibroids — can result infertility or pregnancy loss. Submucosal and intramural fibroids can alter the shape and size of uterine cavity and enhance the risk of pregnancy problems like placental abruption, fetal growth restriction and preterm delivery. Once these fibroids are removed, the chances of getting pregnant improve as compare to the previous condition.
There are various treatments available for women depending on the gravity of problem, their medical history, pregnancy aspirations etc. Following are some of the common Uterine Fibroid Treatments doctors prescribe after thorough diagnosis:
Medications – If the problem is not exceedingly serious, doctors prescribe medications to regulate women’s hormone levels which result in shrinking of Fibroids.
Myomectomy – This surgery rips out uterine fibroids without removing healthy tissues of the uterus. This treatment is most conducive for women who wish to get pregnant after the surgery. Women can become pregnant and have children after Myomectomy.
Minimally Invasive Procedures – These procedures are carried out through cutting-edge and laser machines which destroy Fibroids. Uterine Artery Embolization is one such minimally invasive technique.
Hysterectomy – This surgery is widely used to remove Fibroids along with the uterus. It is acknowledged as the most effective and sure-fire treatment to cure uterine fibroid.