Fibroids are smooth uterine tumors that are usually benign, can cause pregnancy complications, cramps, and heavy bleeding. Fibroids are common, affecting as many as 75% of women in the world.
Fibroids are rarely cancerous and only about 20% of women who have fibroid have symptoms, and these symptoms differ in women with fibroid, However, it is important to know whether or not you are having symptoms from the fibroid, if you might want to become pregnant in the future, also the size of the fibroid, its location, your age and how close you are to menopause are an all-important part of the diagnosis.
Some of the symptoms you might experience if you have fibroids are Heavy menstrual bleeding, bad cramps, frequent urination, constipation, pelvic pressure, etc. and some may grow into the uterine cavity, thereby complicating pregnancy and raising the chances of miscarriages.
The most common problems associated with Fibroids if pregnant are:
There is no reason to endure fibroid pains or symptoms because these days there are several therapies that help to cure or reduce its risk.
Fibroid can be felt with fingers during the ordinary pelvic examination as a painless lump or mass in the uterus, and sometimes your doctor might suggest you run some test to be sure of the size of the fibroid, and its location. The test includes; ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-Ray, cat scan (CT), hysterosalpingogram (HSG)- involves injecting x-ray dye into the uterus and taking x-ray pictures or sanohysterogram- involves injecting water into the uterus and making ultrasound pictures.
And sometimes surgery might be required to know for sure if you have fibroid or not or to be sure of its size and location. There are two types of surgery required for diagnosis, they are:
Laparoscopy- It’s a situation where the doctor made a tiny incision near or in the navel and he inserts a long thin scope into it. The scope will have a bright light and camera which enable the doctor to see the uterus and other organs on a monitor, also pictures can also be saved during this procedure.
Hysteroscopy- This involves passing a long thin scope with light and camera through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. No incision is needed, it allows the doctor to look into the uterus for fibroids.
With mild symptoms, your doctor might suggest over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (to relieve pain), also several medications used for birth control can be prescribed to help control it, low-dose birth control pills do not support fibroid growth and can also control heavy bleeding.
Fibroids with moderate or severe symptoms may require surgery. The reason why it’s best to see your doctor is so you will know which option is best for you. Surgeries used in treating fibroids are:
Myomectomy: This is done for women who still wish to have children, as it requires the removal of the fibroid without taking out the healthy tissue of the uterus. The only problem is you might need a cesarean section to deliver your baby if the fibroids were embedded deeply in the uterus. But after myomectomy new fibroids can grow again, the risk depends on how extensive the surgery is.
Hysterectomy: This surgery is the only sure way to cure uterine fibroid. This surgery is performed when a woman’s fibroids are large and if she experience heavy bleeding, is either near or past menopause, or does not want children. Although hysterectomy is usually quite safe, Recovery takes several weeks.
Other surgical treatments used for fibroids are:
Endometrial ablation: This destroys the lining of the uterus, and it helps to reduce uterine bleeding. There is high risk of not conceiving after endometrial ablation, and if you conceive, there will be pregnancy complications therefore it is mostly recommended for women who are done with child bearing.
Uterine Artery Embolization: This is performed by a radiologist, small particles are deposited into the uterine artery, blocking off the blood supply to the fibroid, the fibroid shrinks, which reduces bleeding. This is not advised for women who are not done with child bearing.
In this era, there is no reason to endure fibroids pains as there are several effective therapies that works for different women, see your doctor if you suspect you might have fibroid or if you have any of the symptoms stated above.
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