Uterine Fibroids

The uterus is a pear-shaped organ located between the bladder, which is attached to the abdominal wall, and the large intestine, which is attached to the coccyx. The cervix, also known as the “neck” of the uterus, is attached to the vagina. The fallopian tube connects the uterus to the ovary. Uterine growths called myomas or fibroids are benign masses that form in the inner muscles of the uterus.

They vary in size and can be as small as the head of a matchstick or be as big as a watermelon.
Fibroids can be in any of the three layers of the wall of the uterus:
  1. Intramural fibroids develop within the uterine wall and expand from there.
  2. Subserosal fibroids develop outside the uterus.
  3. Submucosal fibroids develop underneath the uterine lining and into the uterine cavity.
There is no known direct cause of uterine fibroids, but it is believed to be hereditary. They are found more often in black women than in white or Asian women. They are most commonly found in women between the ages of 30 to 50 who are still menstruating. Women who begin menstruation before the age of 12 are more likely to develop uterine fibroids. No connection has been found between birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy prescribed for menopause and uterine fibroids. Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, may increase the risk of uterine fibroids by 24% when compared with women who have normal blood pressure.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids vary depending on their type, size, and position in the uterus. Larger fibroids may present with the following symptoms:
  1. The most common symptom of uterine fibroids is period that is heavier than normal and lasts longer than normal. Some women may bleed for up to two weeks.
  2. Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or back or period pain that is worse than normal and lasts longer than normal.
  3. Some fibroids may be palpable or may even be visible if it is large, resembling an early pregnancy, even though you might be menstruating.
  4. Since the uterus is located behind the bladder, fibroids may cause some urinary incontinence or frequent urination, especially when you lie flat.
  5. If the fibroid is pressing down on the intestine, you may be constipated or feel pressure in your abdomen.
  6. Feeling of fullness in the abdomen due to a fast-growing fibroid that may become malignant (cancerous), but this is very rare.
  7. Some women experience painful sexual intercourse, but this symptom is uncommon.
  8. Infertility.
  9. Easy miscarriage.
  1. Physical examination, both external and internal.
  2. Abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound.
  3. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  4. Hysteroscopy.
  5. Laparoscopy.
  6. Hysterosalpingography.
  1. If the fibroid is small, the doctor may recommend monitoring it or using medication and follow up with ultrasound as well as assess any vaginal bleeding associated with the growth The doctor may also test you for anemia. You will likely see your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) every three to six months.
  2. If the fibroid causes excessive bleeding, medication may be prescribed to reduce the amount of blood that is lost.
  3. Myomectomy.
  4. Hysterectomy to remove the uterus (only in severe cases where the patient no longer wishes to have children).
  5. When considering treatment options, you must consider the risks and benefits of each option before deciding.
  1. Regular health screening with annual physical exams, with or without symptoms.
  2. Prevent cancer by not drinking alcohol and smoking and undergoing annual health check-ups.
  3. If your periods are abnormal, if you experience severe pain during your periods, if you have pain that radiates to other parts of your body, if you feel a mass in your abdomen, if you have abdominal bloating for no obvious reason, and/or if your abdomen is abnormally distended, please see your doctor for testing and diagnosis.
  4. Eat a low-fat diet because fat is the source of estrogen and eating too much fat can lead to excessive estrogen production.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight as disease is more likely to occur in overweight patients.
  6. Exercise at least four to five times a week as exercise can help you maintain a normal weight and help balance your hormones.

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