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Overview

Fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, are one of the most commonly seen tumours that are found in the female reproductive system. Approximately 20%-50% of the women in the reproductive age group develop fibroids. Made of muscles cells fibroids are closely-packed tumours that grow inside the uterus.

 

What causes Fibroids?

Though the reason behind why fibroids are caused is still unknown there are a few factors that are believed to be the causes of uterine fibroids.
Hormones
In a woman’s body the hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, are produced in the ovaries. During a menstrual cycle, they often lead to the regeneration of the uterine lining which may cause the development of fibroids.
Runs in the Family
Our genes play an important role when it comes to developing fibroids. You are most likely to have fibroids if your grandmother, mother, aunt or sister had this condition.
Pregnancy
When a woman is pregnant, the body produces an increased amount of estrogen and progesterone, which may lead to a faster growth of fibroids.

What are the different types of Fibroids?

Fibroids are classified on the basis of the location within the uterus. The different types of fibroids are:

  • The Intramural Fibroids
    This is the most common type of fibroids and occur in the uterus within the muscular walls. Intramural fibroids can cause a stretching of the womb as the size of the fibroids gets big.
  • The Subserosal Fibroids
    The reason why these kinds of fibroids are called the Subserosal fibroids is that they occur on the serosa, which is the outside of the uterus. In most cases the womb appears larger on one side, because the fibroids grow on that side of the uterus.
  • The Pedunculate Fibroids
    Many a time a cluster of subserosal tumours can grow in the middle layer of muscle of the uterus, called the myometrium. Pedunculate Fibroids are regarded to be the least common out of the three types of fibroids.

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What are the symptoms of Fibroids?

The uterine fibroids symptoms are different for different women. While some women have very severe and disruptive kind of symptoms, some women only show minor symptoms. Here are a few of the most common fibroids symptoms:

  • Extended and heavy menstrual cycle
  • Excessive bleeding during the periods
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Increase in frequency of urination
  • Pain in low back
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Formation of a firm mass that is often located near the centre of the pelvic area

Treatment for Fibroids

Many doctors advise their patients to ‘wait’, as in most cases, the fibroids stop growing or may also gradually shrink as the woman reaches her menopause. But in cases where the patient is in severe discomfort and the symptoms are rather significant, there is a need of uterine fibroids treatment. The best treatment for fibroids depends on your medical history, the extent of the problem, your preference and your pregnancy issues. Generally the fibroid treatment options are:

  • Hysterectomy
    In hysterectomy, the entire uterus is removed from the body.
  • Conservative Surgical Therapy
    Under this therapy the doctor would remove the fibroid using the fibroid tumor treatment but will leave the uterus so the lady can conceive.
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonists
    With this type of uterine fibroids treatment the level of estrogen in the body is decreased. It is something like a medical menopause.
Anti-hormonal Agents
Certain medications fight against estrogen and thus prove helpful in uterus fibroid treatment without surgery.
Uterine Artery Embolization
Uterine Artery Embolization is one of the latest innovation in the field of fibre treatments, that can be carried out without a big incision on the abdomen. The process of embolization means that the artery that supplies blood to the fibroids are blocked, which make the fibroids shrink.
Anti-inflammatory Painkillers
For women who suffer from discomfort or pain in the pelvic area, many a time find relief with these medications.

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