Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow in or on a woman’s uterus. Uterine fibroids vary in size. Some are very small and cannot be detected by the naked eye while others are very big and distort or enlarge a woman’s uterus.
Some women may never know they have uterine fibroids because in some cases the symptoms do not manifest themselves. However, symptoms vary from woman to woman depending on the size, number and location of the fibroid.
The most common symptoms of Fibroids include:
- Menstrual bleeding which is heavier or lasts longer than it usually does.
- Feeling pain in your pelvis or feeling the need to urinate frequently.
- Experiencing backache or pain in your legs
- A swollen or enlarged abdomen
Causes of Fibroids
The causes of fibroids are not clearly known. However, articles by medical experts suggest the following factors contribute to the growth of fibroids
Estrogen and Progesterone are hormones which stimulate the development of the lining of the uterus. They also appear to promote fibroid growth because fibroids contain a higher amount of the two hormones than normal uterus cells. Moreover, during menopause, the fibroids decrease in size due to the reduction in the release of the two hormones.
Changes in the genetic makeup
Fibroids have been found to contain genes that are very different from the genes in normal uterine cells.
Medical history of the family
There are chances that a person can develop it if their sister, mother or grandmother had it in the past.
Taking medicine administered by a doctor
Medicine varies depending on the size, location and number of fibroids. It also depends on how severe the symptoms are.
Myomectomy – This surgery involves removing the fibroid without removing healthy uterine tissues. It is best for women who still want to conceive in the future.
Endometrial ablation – This procedure involves removing the lining of the uterus to reduce heavy bleeding. Some women who have had this procedure stop menstruating while others experience lighter bleeding. One cannot have children after this method.
Myolysis – They prick the fibroid with a needle and use freezing or electric current to kill the fibroid.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
The doctors use a thin tube to prick the blood vessel that is supplying blood to the fibroid. They then inject gel particles into the blood vessels to stop the blood supply to the fibroid. It’s best for women who don’t plan to have children in the future. It can induce early menopause. There are more treatment options employed depending on the severity of the growth.
The preventive measures continue to be studied by scientists day and night. Some ways of reducing the chances of developing fibroids include; Healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
Use of hormonal contraceptives has also been linked to lower risk of fibroids.
Fibroids shrink when a person uses anti-hormonal medication