Fibroids are noncancerous, but abnormal growths that occur in a woman’s uterus. They are also known as leiomyomas, myomas, uterine myomas, or fibromas. In some cases, these growths can get large, and lead to severe pain and heavy periods. In other cases, the tumors cause no symptoms at all. Studies have shown that over 80 percent of all women develop fibroids by the age of fifty. However, most of them do not experience any symptoms, and therefore, they never even know that they have fibroids. Below is a discussion about some of the important things that you should know about fibroids, including how an OB/GYN, such as Daniel Roshan MD, can help with the problem.
Types of Fibroids
There are several types of fibroids depending on where they occur on or in the uterus. Some of them include:
These are the most common type. They occur within the uterus’ muscular walls. In some cases, they can grow big and stretch the uterus substantially.
These ones occur on the outer surface of the uterus, also known as the serosa. They can grow big and make the uterus appear larger on one side.
These are basically subserosal fibroids with a stem supported by a slender base.
These fibroids develop in the myometrium, or the middle muscle layer of the uterus. They are not as common as the other types.
What Causes Fibroids
It is not clear why fibroids occur. However, there are several factors that are known to influence their formation. Some of them include hormones, family history, and pregnancy. For instance, progesterone and estrogen hormones can stimulate the growth of fibroids, particularly during pregnancy when hormone levels are at their peak. People with close relatives who have a history of the condition are at a higher risk of developing it. Other risk factors include being over 30 years old, being overweight, and being African-American.
Symptoms of Fibroids
The symptoms of fibroids vary from one case to another, depending on factors such as the number of the tumors that a patient has, their size, and their location. But generally, their symptoms include:
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Lower back or pelvic pain
- Increased urination
- Pain during sex
- Longer-than-usual lasting periods
- Pressure in the lower abdomen
- Swelling of the abdomen
Diagnosis and Treatment
There are several techniques that doctors can rely on to diagnose fibroids, some of them include pelvic exams, ultrasound tests, and Pelvic MRI. Treatment usually involves medication, surgery, and minimally invasive procedures.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it is apparent that fibroids are a common occurrence among middle age women. However, in most cases, they do not cause any symptoms, and most women never even know they have them. Unfortunately, in cases where there are symptoms, they can cause significant pain and discomfort. The good news is that with the assistance of a reliable OB/GYN fibroids are treatable. Your doctor may use medications that seek to control pain and bleeding and eliminate or at least shrink the tumors. If medication fails, your doctor may advise you for surgery or other minimally invasive procedures.