Uterine Fibroids - Symptoms, Causes, Complications, and Prevention
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that form in the muscles of the uterus. They typically grow slowly and aren't considered dangerous. However, they can cause severe symptoms and can affect your everyday life. Their growth can cause problems, such as heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure on other organs. There is no exact cause of uterine fibroids, but it has been noticed that they often develop after menopause.
I am a Gynaecologist Obstetrician ( MD, DNB OBGYN) with an emphasis on INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the muscle of the uterus. They can also be found on or within the uterus lining and typically cause heavy bleeding, pain, and pressure. Most women with uterine fibroids do not show any symptoms at all. In fact, many are unaware they even have fibroids until a doctor has diagnosed them.
Asymptomatic uterine fibroids may go undetected for years before being discovered by an X-ray or other imaging test for unrelated reasons. For example, a woman may have an ultrasound done because she has not gotten her period recently; it's then discovered that she has several large asymptomatic uterine fibroids. If not treated on time, Uterine Fibroids can cause many problems down the line if left untreated.
Typically Uterine fibroids occur in women over 35 years of age and can cause abnormal bleeding, painful periods, infertility, or pelvic pressure. Here are the different types of uterine fibroids:
Submucosal Fibroids:- These are the most common type of uterine fibroid and grow under the lining (endometrium) of the uterus. They may vary from very small to large, but they have little impact on fertility unless they become very large or press against other organs in your abdomens, such as your bladder or rectum.
Intramural Fibroids:- It is the common type of fibroid that appears on the uterus's muscular wall and can stretch your womb. Intramural fibroids are small tumors that grow within the wall of the uterus. They are often not noticeable until they become large enough to cause symptoms such as heavy bleeding during menstruation or pain.
Subserosal fibroids:- Subserosal fibroids are a type of fibroid tumor that grows on the surface of the uterus. It can appear in women of any age, growing slowly over time. Subserosal fibroids are often asymptomatic, and if they cause symptoms, they may include pain during sexual intercourse, pain in the lower abdomen or back, and heavy menstrual bleeding. If you have subserosal fibroids and want to get pregnant, treating them before trying to conceive is important because they may interfere with the embryo's implantation into your uterus.
Pedunculated fibroids:- Pedunculated fibroids can grow in the uterus. They're not cancerous but can cause severe pain and heavy bleeding. The growths usually occur on a stalk, called the pedunculus, which attaches them to the uterine wall. That's why they're also known as pedunculated tumors.
Here are some of the causes of uterine fibroids:
: Women who do not exercise regularly are more likely to develop uterine fibroids than those who do exercise. Regular exercise helps reduce stress levels and improve overall health. It also strengthens muscles around the pelvis; this helps keep pelvic organs from pressing against each other too hard (which could lead to abnormal growth).
The symptoms of uterine fibroids will depend on the size and number of tumors in the body. The symptoms include:-
● Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis area
● Heavy periods
● Pain during sexual intercourse
● Bleeding between periods, sometimes even during menses or after it's stopped
● Increased urination
● Increase in menstrual cramps
● Difficult bowel movements (constipation), diarrhoea, and painful bowel movements (dyschezia) are common symptoms of uterine fibroids.
● Swelling of the abdomen
The diagnosis of uterine fibroids is usually based on the patient's symptoms, physical examination, and ultrasound.
Ultrasound:- The doctor may ask you to have an ultrasound test to confirm the occurrence of uterine fibroids. The sound waves are used in ultrasound to map and measure fibroids.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI Scan): MRI is an expensive option compared to ultrasound but gives a detailed picture of sizes, locations, and fibroids. This method is used when other tests do not detect fibroids.
Hysteroscopy:- Hysteroscopy is another method to diagnose the presence of uterine fibroids. It is a procedure that uses a thin, lighted tube called a hysteroscope to examine your uterus. The hysteroscope is inserted through the opening of your cervix and into the uterus. During the procedure, your doctor can see inside your uterus and take pictures of any areas that need further examination.
If you have fibroids, your doctor may recommend treatment to shrink fibroids or remove tumors. Surgery is a common option for many people who have uterine fibroids. Different types of surgery can be done to treat uterine fibroids. Most surgeries involve removing the uterus and ovaries (hysterectomy), but some doctors may use less invasive techniques such as laparoscopic myomectomy or robotic myomectomy. These procedures remove the tumor without removing your entire reproductive system, which means you'll still be able to get pregnant if you want to in the future.
Following certain home remedies and natural treatments can heal uterine fibroids, such as:
Prevention is better than cure! Follow the precautions mentioned below to minimize the risk of uterine fibroid:
Medications may have side effects that vary from person to person. People who have fibroid removal surgery may experience some complications like
Fibroids can cause complications for some women but not for everyone. Some of the most common complications include:
Menstrual irregularities: If you have fibroids, it can affect your menstrual cycle.
Pelvic pain: Another common complication of fibroids is pelvic pain and pain in the lower back and abdomen.
Heavy bleeding: Some women experience bleeding during their monthly cycle due to fibroids.
Infertility: Women with large fibroids may find it difficult to conceive because fibroids prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb's lining.
Uterine fibroids are the common cause of pelvic pain, but they can be cured through consultation and following medications/ surgery. You must talk to your doctor if you are experiencing irregular menstrual periods, heavy bleeding, and pelvic pain at different times during the menstrual cycle, or painful intercourse.
If you are facing irregular periods, pelvic pain, or abdominal pain, then consult Dr. Disha Sridhar, one of the most trusted gynaecologists in Bangalore, for uterine fibroids treatment. She has expertise in INTEGRATIVE FEMALE GYNAECOLOGY AND REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY and treats issues related to women's hormones, abnormal periods, fertility, pregnancy, and fibroids from the ROOT CAUSE.
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Contact her for all your uterine fibroids and menstrual problems. You can also visit official website https://www.truhealing.com/ to know about her or to book an online appointment.
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Do fibroids need treatment?
Ans. Neglecting fibroids can cause serious issues such as heavy bleeding, irregular menstrual periods, infertility, and pelvic pain. Fibroids need proper treatment to cure them permanently.
What types of surgery may be done to treat uterine fibroids?
Ans. Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy are surgeries used to remove uterine fibroids.
Can uterine fibroids turn into cancer?
Ans. There is a rare chance of fibroids turning into cancer, almost 1 in 1000.
What questions should I ask my doctor if I have uterine fibroids?
Ans. You could ask:
● Do I need treatment?
● Is surgery mandatory to remove fibroids?
● Options besides surgery
● Risks and complications related to surgery
● How to prevent fibroids?
Where can uterine fibroids grow?
Ans. It grows in the inner lining of the muscular wall of the uterus.
Can Uterine Fibroids cause no period?
Ans. Fibroids cause abnormal menstrual periods.
What causes Uterine Fibroids to Grow?
Ans. Hormones imbalance, poor diet, stress, depression, and PCOD cause uterine fibroids to grow.
How to remove uterine fibroids?
Ans. Fibroids are generally removed by surgery but may have some complications.
Originally published May 2, 2019