Though uterine fibroids are benign tumours, their overgrowth may become a serious health issue later. This article intends to discuss important aspects of uterine fibroids.
Uterine fibroids are benign(non-cancerous ) growths that aren’t cancerous. They are also called leiomyomas(lie-O-my-O-mas) and usually, appear in the childbearing years.
Their size and numbers vary from person to person, and a fibroid can be as small as a seedling or as big as a big lump growing out of the uterus and adding weight.
Women often have it without knowledge and come to know only during naval examinations for other purposes or pre-natal pelvic ultrasounds.
Here are some basic facts about uterine fibroids-
Important Facts About Uterine Fibroids
Symptoms of Fibroids
Heavy menstrual bleeding
Issues in emptying the bladder
Backache or pain in legs
Acute naval pain. Rarely do fibroids cause acute pain when they start dying due to loss of blood supply.
Types Of Fibroids
Fibroids types are recognised by their location. If they appear outside the uterus, they are called Subserosal fibroids. However, they mostly grow either within the muscular wall called Intramural fibroids or as bulges inside the uterine cavity called Submucosal fibroids.
Causes Of Fibroids
Certain genetic changes may Trigger fibroid growth.
Progesterone and estrogen are the two hormones that prepare the uterine lining during pregnancy. The uterine fibroids are very receptive to these hormones, and it grows well when these hormones increase.
That Is why many uterine fibroids shrink and subside on their own after pregnancy or menopause.
Extracellular matrix help binds the cells of uterine muscle, and excess presence causes uterine fibroids. Extracellular matrix gives them a lumpy physical appearance.
When Do Uterine Fibroids Raise Concern?
The following concerns associated with uterine fibroids need prompt medical attention:
Acute abdomen pain
Large size or multiple fibroids
Spotting bleeding during urination
Unexplained low red blood cell count(anaemia)
The fibroids may grow during pregnancy; therefore, Obstetricians (doctors who look after women's health and pregnancy) must be aware and cautious about fibroids causing pregnancy risk.
Which Size Of Fibroid Is Dangerous?
Large fibroids, about 4cm or more, which grow inside the uterus’ muscles may contort their shape and block fallopian tubes. If they grow outside the uterus, they may reach to pleura(chest lining), pressurise and cause pain.
Large-sized fibroids also pose a threat to causing bleeding while dying out due to the cut-off of blood supply. They also cause complications in pregnancy.
Complications Of Fibroids In Pregnancy
The endometrium (uterus lining) is very receptive to conception during the release of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones also stimulate fibroids' growth in the uterine lining.
Excessive fibroid growth may stunt embryos' full-fledged growth and pose a risk of miscarriage. Women with fibroids during pregnancy may find their abdomen heavier.
Fibroids may also influence the mode of delivery, for example, if fibroids are present in the lower uterus, normal delivery will be problematic. The doctor will have to choose C-section for delivery.
Treatments To Fibroids
In some cases, fibroids seem to shrink and subside after pregnancy. However, in some cases, it poses threat to health or pregnancy. In that case, the doctor may choose the following treatment for fibroids.
Uterine Artery Embolization
Small embolization particles are injected into the uterine artery that cut off blood supply to fibroids, resulting which their die-off.
Through radiofrequency energy, the fibroids are destroyed, and blood vessels shink and do not supply blood to fibroids.
Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy
Through laparoscopy, large fibroids are broken into small pieces(morcellation) and removed surgically.
A specialised instrument is inserted in the uterus that destroys the endometrium and submucosal fibroids. This stops excess bleeding and ends menstruation.
We, at MMC IVF, are fully equipped with all diagnostic equipment and have a dedicated team of gynaecologists who look after a woman’s health and pregnancy with utmost diligence. In case you see the discussed symptoms of fibroids, do consult us at least once to avoid any unforeseen complications.