What Are Fibroids | Symptoms Of Fibroids | NextMamas.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths found in the muscle wall of your uterus. They can vary in size from a pea to a rock melon or bigger. This condition occurs in up to 70% of women aged under 50. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink and may disappear.
Symptoms of fibroids
Fibroids do not usually cause any problems, but 20-30% of women do experience some symptoms.
- heavy or long periods.
- Painful Periods.
- bleeding in between periods – this is uncommon.
- Iron deficiency due to heavy periods – this might make you feel tired or dizzy.
- pain during sex.
- feeling heaviness or pressure in the back, bowel and bladder.
- feeling like you haven’t emptied your bladder or bowel.
- More urination.
- swelling in your lower abdomen.
What causes fibroids?
We don’t know exactly what causes fibroids, but we do know the female hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate the growth of fibroids.
Getting a diagnosis
Fibroids can be diagnosed in different ways.
- an external ultrasound of your abdomen.
- an ultrasound inside your vagina – this is more accurate than an external ultrasound.
- a hysteroscope (under general anesthetic) – a thin telescope showing the inside of your uterus.
- a laparoscopy (under general anesthetic) – a thin telescope goes into your belly button to see your pelvic organs.
Fibroids might cause infertility, or miscarriage so it’s important to get a diagnosis and treat the condition if required.
If you are diagnosed with fibroids, your doctor will explain the different treatment options depending on the size, number, and location of your fibroids.
If your fibroids are small and not causing any problems, your doctor may monitor them for changes – or they may not need to be monitored at all.
Your doctor might use a combination of hormones, or other medications, to shrink your fibroids, usually if infertility is an issue. After you stop taking the medications, your fibroids can grow back..
You might need different types of surgery, depending on the size and position of your fibroids.
- uterine artery embolization (under local anesthetic) – this blocks the blood supply to your fibroids, so they slowly die.
- hysteroscopy – removal of submucosal fibroids.
- Hysterectomy(removal of the uterus)if you have large or multiple fibroids.
Talk to your doctor or specialist about the potential benefits and risks of each option before you decide.
Author: Dr. Iram Gill
Dr. Iram Gill is an MBBS doctor by profession and a Content Writer by passion. She is a mother as well and has observed the health-related challenges faced by mothers and babies. She wants to play her part in increasing access and support for breastfeeding and maternal health problems.