What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are abnormal growths that establish in or on a female’s uterus. It is uncertain why fibroids establish, however several elements may affect their growth, such as hormones and family history. About 70 to 80 percent of women experience fibroids by the age of 50.
Fibroid tumors are abnormal growths that establish in or on a woman’s uterus. Often, these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy durations. In other cases, they cause no signs or symptoms at all. The growth are usually benign (noncancerous). The cause of fibroids is unknown.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 70 to 80 percent of women have them by the age of 50.
Types of Fibroids
Various fibroids establish in various locations in and on the uterus.
Intramural fibroids are the most typical type of fibroid. These types appear within the lining of the uterus (endometrium). Intramural fibroids may grow larger and actually extend your womb.
Subserosal fibroids form on the outside of your uterus, which is called the serosa. They may grow large enough to make your womb appear bigger on one side.
When subserosal tumors develop a stem (a slender base that supports the growth), they become pedunculated fibroids.
These types of growths establish in the inner lining (myometrium) of your uterus. Submucosal tumors are not as common as other types, however when they do develop, they might cause heavy menstrual bleeding and difficulty developing.
What Causes Fibroid Tumors in Uterus?
It is unclear why fibroids establish, but a number of elements might affect their formation.
Estrogen and progesterone are the hormonal agents produced by the ovaries. They cause the uterine lining to regrow during each menstrual cycle and might promote the growth of fibroids.
Fibroids may run in the family. If your mom, sibling, or granny has a history of this condition, you may develop it also.
Pregnancy increases the production of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Fibroids may develop and grow rapidly while you are pregnant.
Who Is at Risk for Fibroids?
Women are at higher risk for developing fibroids if they have one or more of the following risk factors:
- a family history of fibroids
- being over the age of 30
- being of African-American descent
- having a high body weight
What Are the Symptoms of Fibroids?
Your symptoms will depend on the area and size of the growth( s) and how many growths you have. If your growth is really little, or if you are going through menopause, you may not have any symptoms. Fibroids might shrink during and after menopause.
Symptoms of fibroids might include:
- heavy bleeding between or during your periods that includes blood clots
- pain in the pelvis and/or lower back
- increased menstrual cramping
- increased urination
- pain during intercourse
- menstruation that lasts longer than typical
- pressure or fullness in your lower abdomen
- swelling or enlargement of the abdominal area
How Are Fibroids in Uterus Diagnosed?
You will have to see a gynecologist to obtain a pelvic exam. This exam is used to check the condition, size, and shape of your uterus. You might also require other tests, which include:
An ultrasound uses high frequency acoustic wave to produce images of your uterus on a screen. This will allow your doctor to see its internal structures and any fibroids present. A transvaginal ultrasound, in which the ultrasound wand (transducer) is placed into the vaginal area, may supply clearer photos considering that it is better to the uterus during this procedure.
This in-depth imaging screening produces images of your uterus, ovaries, and other pelvic organs.
How Are Fibroids Treated?
Your doctor will develop a treatment strategy based on your age, the size of your fibroid(s), and your general health. You may receive a mix of treatments.
Medications to regulate your hormonal agent levels may be prescribed to shrink fibroids. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, such as leuprolide (Lupron), will cause your estrogen and progesterone levels to drop. This will ultimately stop menstruation and shrink fibroids.
Other options that can help control bleeding and pain, but will not shrink or get rid of fibroidsin uterus, include:
- an intrauterine device (IUD) that releases the hormonal agent progestin
- over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkiller, such as ibuprofen
- birth control pills
Surgery to eliminate large or multiple growths (myomectomy) may be carried out. An abdominal myomectomy involves making a big cut in the abdominal area to access the uterus and eliminate the fibroids. The surgery can likewise be carried out laparoscopically, utilizing a few little incisions into which surgical tools and a camera are placed.
Your physician may carry out a hysterectomy (elimination of your uterus) if your condition aggravates, or if no other treatments work. However, this suggests that you will not have the ability to bear children in the future.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
A newer and completely noninvasive surgery is required ultrasound surgery (FUS). You will rest inside an unique MRI maker that permits medical professionals to picture the inside of your uterus. High-energy, high-frequency acoustic waves will be directed at the fibroids to ruin (ablate) them.
Likewise, myolysis shrinks fibroids using an electric current or laser, while cryomyolysis freezes the fibroids. Endometrial ablation includes placing a special instrument into your uterus to damage the uterine lining utilizing heat, electrical current, hot water, or microwaves.
What Can Be Expected in the Long Term?
Your prognosis will depend upon the size and area of your fibroids. Fibroids may not require treatment if they are small or do not produce symptoms. If you are pregnant and have fibroids, or become pregnant and have fibroids, your physician will carefully monitor your condition. Most of the times, fibroids do not cause issues during pregnancy. Consult with your doctor if you anticipate to end up being pregnant and have fibroids.