Uterine Fibroids- Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and More

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Uterine fibroids are unusual and abnormal growths that develop on the walls of the uterus. These tumors may get large and cause severe pain in the abdomen. It has also been seen that most uterine fibroids do not show any signs or symptoms of the issue and are mostly noncancerous.

Majority of the uterine fibroids appear when a woman is able to get pregnant and ready to give birth. The size and shape of these fibroids may vary from person to person. Also, fibroids that get quite big may distort the inside and outside regions of the uterus. Moreover, if proper treatment is not provided on time, the person may experience severe pain in and around the pelvic region.

Symptoms of Fibroids

Most people with uterine fibroids may not show any symptoms. However, some women may experience the following symptoms:

  • Extreme pain during periods
  • Unusual and heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Urinating quite frequently or facing issues while urinating
  • Growth of your stomach
  • Feeling constipated
  • Extreme pain during sex

Causes of Fibroids

The exact cause of fibroids has been determined yet but there are certain various factors that play a huge role in the development of uterine fibroids. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone have a significant impact.

Various studies have indicated that fibroids may begin to grow when hormone levels fluctuate a lot, especially during pregnancy and menopause.

Risk Factors Associated with Uterine Fibroids

  • Unusual body weight
  • Family history of fibroids
  • Getting menstrual periods earlier than expected
  • Late onset of menopause

Diagnosis of Uterine Fibroids

In most cases, uterine fibroids can be detected during a pelvic examination. Moreover, your healthcare provider may also ask questions related to your periods and other signs and symptoms in order to assess your condition. The doctor may even recommend a few tests such as:

  • Ultrasonography: With the help of sound waves, a picture of your internal organs can be generated.
  • MRI: Using radio and magnetic waves, a detailed image of internal organs can be created.
  • CT Scan: This method is also used to generate a detailed image of internal organs with the help of X-rays.
  • Hysteroscopy: In this process, a thin and flexible tube with a camera is used to look for fibroids. It is passed through the vagina and moved into the uterus.

Treatment of Uterine Fibroids

Depending on the size, shape and the location of fibroid, the treatment may vary from person to person. People who do not experience any kind of symptom may not require any kind of treatment. However, even these should keep monitoring their fibroids with the help of pelvic exams or ultrasounds.

But those who are experiencing moderate to severe pain and other symptoms may be required to undergo below-mentioned treatments:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications: Fibroids can cause too much pain and it gets unbearable too. Hence, some people might need to take painkillers to deal with the situation. Most people take acetaminophen and ibuprofen to lessen the pain caused by fibroids.
  • Iron supplements: Heavy flow of blood may lead to anemia and the affected person may need to take iron supplements.
  • Birth control medications: Certain birth control methods may help ease the symptoms of fibroids. Various birth control options such as pills, rings, injections, etc.

Surgeries Used for Fibroids Removal

The type of surgery used to remove fibroids depends on the size, location and total number of fibroids that a person has developed. The doctor may even talk about your wishes and plans for future pregnancies. There are certain types of surgical procedures that aim to protect your uterus so that you can become pregnant in the future. However, there are other surgical methods that can either damage or remove your uterus.

  • Myomectomy: There are several types of myomectomy procedures. One of them is hysteroscopy where a thin and flexible scope is inserted in the vagina and to the uterus. This scope cuts and removes the fibroids. Laparoscopy is another myomectomy procedure where only a few incisions are made in the abdomen through which the scope enters and exits the body. One more type of myomectomy procedure is called laparotomy where a large incision is made in the abdomen and fibroids are removed through this cut.
  • Hysterectomy: This is the only way to cure fibroids as in this procedure, the uterus is completely removed and fibroids do not grow back.

Risks Associated with Uterine Fibroids Treatments

The medicines may involve various side effects and you must consult your healthcare provider to understand the risks. Surgical treatments also have various complications such as infection, bleeding, etc. Moreover, if the uterus is completely removed, the woman may not get pregnant in the future.

Prevention of Fibroids

Generally, fibroids cannot be prevented but the risk of developing fibroids can be prevented by maintaining a healthy body weight and getting your reproductive organs checked regularly.

the image describes tips that can help manage fibroids in women
Follow these steps to effectively manage your uterine fibroids

Keep in mind that uterine fibroids are quite common and many women experience this during their lives. Some are small, some are big. Some cause symptoms while others do not. Hence, if you feel a lot of pain and if your condition is getting worse, get in touch with your healthcare provider and discuss the best possible remedy.

Disclaimer

This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals with expertise in writing for healthcare. The content on this page should not be considered a substitute for medical expertise.

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