Uterine fibroids are non – malignant growths of the uterus that usually occurs in women during their childbearing years. Uterine fibroids should not be associated with uterine cancer and they are never malignant in nature. Uterine fibroids do not have any symptoms but almost 75% of women are afflicted with uterine fibroids at some point of their lives. The disease gets exposed during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.Uterine fibroids generally do not cause any problem and they hardly require any treatment. A surgery can be done to remove the fibroids if the woman feels any discomfiture. Treatment is required there is pelvic pain or heavy menstrual bleeding.
The most common symptoms of uterine fibroids are – heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged periods, pelvic pain, excessive urination, constipation and backache. Fibroids usually are of different varieties and it usually dies if it remains deprived of vital nutrients.
1) Submucosal Fibroids – this grows on the inner cavity of the uterus and is responsible for prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding. This is a big problem for women who are attempting pregnancy.
2) Subserosal Fibroids – these sometimes are places on the outside of the uterus and can press on the bladder thereby causing urinary symptoms. If the fibroid press on the rectum, then it can cause constipation or backache.
Many women have complained that they are not very sure when to visit a doctor even if any of the common symptoms of the fibroids take place. The general advice is that you should see a doctor if
• There is persistent pelvic pain
• Painful period
• Bleeding between periods
• Painful intercourse
• Difficulty in emptying the bladder
• Difficult in movement of bowels
There are no definite causes for uterine fibroids but doctors have point out some factors like –
a) Genetic Alterations – the fibroids contain alterations in the genes that has the code for uterine muscle cells.
b) Hormones – Estrogen and Progesterone are the two hormones that help in the development of uterine lining to prepare for pregnancy. These hormones may help the growth of fibroids. It is interesting to note that fibroids contain a greater number of estrogen and estrogen receptors than the normal uterine muscle cells.