Uterine fibroids

Description of Uterine fibroids

Description of Uterine Fibroids
 
Uterine fibroids are the benign growth of the muscles inside the uterus that are not cancerous in nature but causes severe symptoms.
Type of fibroid tumors are based on the region where they develop:
1. Intramural fibroids which grow within the muscular uterine wall
2. Submucosal fibroids which bulge into the uterine cavity
3. Subserosal fibroids project to the outside of the uterus
 
Causes and Risk Factors of Uterine Fibroids
 
The exact cause for the development of fibroids is not known. However, studies and research have shown that there are certain factors that may be responsible for the development of fibroids. These factors are:
1. Hormones
2. Genetic changes
3. Other growth factors such as insulin-like growth factor

Common risk factors include:
1. Gender (women)
2. Genetic makeup: If any woman in your family have had fibroids, you are most likely to develop them too.
3. Environmental factors
4. Onset of menstruation at an early age
5. Obesity
6. Vitamin D deficiency
7. Having a diet rich in red meat
8. Excessive consumption of alcohol
 
Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
 
Common symptoms are:
1. Heavy menstrual bleeding
2. Pain in the pelvic region or pelvic pressure
3. Menses lasting for a week or more
4. Difficulty emptying the bladder
5. Increased frequency of urine
6. Backache or pain in the legs
7. Constipation
 
Investigations
 
1. Your doctor may examine your pelvic region.
2. Your doctor may recommend physical tests such as ultrasound.
3. Lab tests to get the complete blood count (CBC) is done to know if you have anemia due to chronic blood loss.
4. Other imaging tests includes:
a) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
b) Hysterosonography
c) Hysterosalpingography
d) Hysteroscopy
 
Treatment of Uterine Fibroids
 
Below are the different treatment options available:
1. Hysterectomy: It is the procedure for removal of the uterus.
2. Myomectomy: In this, only the fibroids are removed and the uterus is kept intact.
3. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists): These trigger medical menopause by shrinking the fibroid.
4. Anti-inflammatory painkillers (analgesics): These provide relief in case a woman is experiencing pelvic discomfort or pain.
5. Anti-hormonal agents: Certain drugs oppose estrogen (such as progestin and danazol), and appear effective in treating fibroids. Antiprogestins, which block the action of progesterone, are also sometimes used.
6. Uterine artery embolization (UAE)
 
Complications and When Should You See a Doctor
 
1. Anemia from heavy blood loss
2. May lead to infertility
3. Placental abruption
4. Preterm delivery
5. Fetal growth restriction
Content Details
Last updated on:
01 Nov 2021 | 04:55 PM (IST)
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