What is Fibroids ?
Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in or around the uterus (womb). Fibroids are also known as uterine myomas or fibromyomas. Fibroids are made of muscle cells and fibrous tissues that grow in and around the wall of the uterus. The cause of fibroids is unknown. Risk factors include being overweight or obese and is mostly seen in African-American. They can grow anywhere in the uterus and are named according to their origin:
- Intramural fibroids: These types grows within the muscle tissue of the uterus . This is the most common place for fibroids to form.
- Sub serous fibroids: It grows from the outside wall of the uterus into the pelvis.
- Sub mucous fibroids: It is generally seen in the inner wall into the middle of the uterus .
- Pedunculated fibroids: It grows from the outside wall of the uterus or into cavity of uterus and is attached to it by a narrow stalk.
Many women with fibroids have no symptoms. If symptoms occur , these may include:
- Heavy or painful periods or bleeding between periods
- Feeling "full" in the lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sex
- Lower back pain
- Reproductive problems, such as infertility, multiple miscarriages or early labor
Fibroid is an overgrowth of smooth muscle cells. The uterus is mainly made of smooth muscle. The exact cause is still not clear.
- It can be genetic.
- It is seen that fibroids are sensitive to estrogen, the hormone that is made in the ovary. Fibroids tend to swell when levels of estrogen are high as during pregnancy. They also shrink when estrogen levels are low after the menopause.
Physical examination: Some fibroids can be felt during an internal (vaginal) examination by a doctor.
Transvaginal ultrasound: A transvaginal ultrasound scan is sometimes used to diagnose fibroids. It is generally a painless procedure that involves inserting a small probe into the vagina. The probe uses sound waves to create an image of uterus on a TV monitor.
Laparoscopy It is a procedure where a small tube that contains a light source and a camera is inserted into the abdomen. The camera transmits images of the inside of the abdomen or pelvis on a television monitor. The laparoscope can be flexible or rigid, depending on the procedure, but when diagnosing fibroids a rigid laparoscope is most often used.For accurate diagnosis please consult your physician
Complications can occur as a result of the positioning of fibroids, and in cases where they are very large. Some possible complications are outlined below.
During pregnancy: During pregnancy, estrogens levels of the women can increase by as much as five times the normal amount. As fibroids are thought to develop due to high estrogen levels, this may lead to complications with the development of the baby, or cause problems during labor.
Infertility: Infertility (the inability to become pregnant) may occur in cases where fibroids are very large. Large fibroids can sometimes prevent a fertilized egg getting attached to the lining of the uterus.