Uterine fibroids are very common in women. You may not even realize that you have fibroids until the condition worsens or until you visit your gynecologist for an annual check-up.
Uterine fibroids are abnormal uterine growths or non-cancerous tumors that can cause discomfort, heavy periods, and abdominal pain. A woman can have multiple fibroids of different sizes. They could be as small as a pea or larger than a grape.
Risk factors for Uterine Fibroids
Studies indicate that 70-80 percent of women will develop fibroids at least once in their lifetime- however, in many cases they cause no symptoms and so do not require any treatment. The exact causes of fibroids are not known. Some believe that it is because of the high level of estrogen in the body during our reproductive years.
However, there are some factors that increase a woman’s chance of developing fibroids. Some of the common risk factors are:
Age: Fibroids are more common in women who are in their 30s or 40s. After menopause, the fibroids present often shrink as the level of estrogen falls.
Family History: If you have a family history of uterine fibroids. Your chances of experiencing them are high. For instance, if your mother had fibroids your chances of developing them are three times higher than an average woman.
Obesity: A higher level of estrogen circulation in obese women can increase their risk of developing fibroids.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Many women may not experience any symptoms of fibroids. However, if you have large or numerous fibroids, you may manifest symptoms like heavy or prolonged periods, pelvic pain and pressure, pain while having sex, frequent urination, difficulty during pregnancy, lower back pain, and discomfort in the rectum. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor if you notice severe symptoms like chronic pelvic pain, extremely heavy and painful periods, a lump in your abdomen, and difficulty in emptying your bladder.
It is observed that when the size of these fibroids is large, they can also lead to problems in pregnancy, labor, fertility and might also make way for repeated miscarriages. You may notice a significant increase in your weight and there can be swelling in the lower abdomen.
Types of Uterine Fibroids
The type of fibroid depends on its location in or on the uterus.
Intramural fibroids: These are the most common type of fibroid. They appear within the muscular wall of the uterus and may grow larger with time.
Subserosal fibroids: They usually appear on the outside of your uterus.
Pedunculated fibroids: When the subserosal tumors develop a stem or a slender base that supports the tumor, they are called the pedunculated fibroids.
Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
At Apollo Spectra Hospitals, our experts recommend a treatment plan, specially crafted for you based on your age, size of the fibroid, its type, and your overall health status. Right from providing the correct medication to performing surgical procedures like hysterectomy, myomectomy, endometrial ablation, and more, we ensure that you get the best treatment to get rid of fibroids.