Uterine fibroid (also known as Fibroids) is a common concern in women all around the world. It mainly affects women at fertile age causing multiple bleeding and pain symptoms, and this can have a negative impact on different aspects in women’s life. Millions of women have this health challenge, with around 1 in 3 women developing them at some point in their life. What are some noteworthy facts about fibroids?
What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb). These tumors are almost always non-cancerous. Not all women with fibroids have symptoms. Women who do have symptoms often find fibroids hard to live with. Some have pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Fibroids are mostly common in women between the ages of 35 to 50.
The size, shape, and location of fibroids can vary greatly. They may be inside the uterus, on its outer surface or within its wall. Some can be attached to the uterus by a stem-like structure. A woman may have only one fibroid or many of varying sizes. A fibroid may remain very small for a long time and suddenly grow rapidly, or grow slowly over a number of years.
READ MORE: Domestic Violence – Disturbing Facts
Noteworthy Facts About Fibroids
Cause of Fibroids: According to Mayo Clinic, doctors don’t know the cause of uterine fibroids, but research and clinical experience point to some factors. They may develop because of changes in genes that differ from those in normal uterine muscle cells. Also, estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids. Some insulin-like tissues growth may also affect fibroid.
Symptoms of Fibroids: Many women who have fibroids don’t have any symptoms. For women who have symptoms, these are the most common signs and symptoms: Heavy menstrual bleeding, menstrual periods lasting more than a week, pelvic pressure or pain and frequent urination. Other signs include difficulty emptying the bladder, constipation and backache or leg pains. On very rare occasions, a fibroid can cause acute pain when it outgrows its blood supply, and begins to die.
Do All Women Have Fibroids? – The National Institutes of Health in the United States estimates that 80% of all women will develop uterine fibroids at some point during their lives. Because many women don’t experience any symptoms, it’s possible the number of women with uterine fibroids is even higher. Fibroids are thought to develop more frequently in black women, and they also seem to occur at a younger age.
Can Fibroids Burst? – In very rare cases, fibroids can burst, especially those that grow on small stalks inside or outside the uterus. Those that grow in the wall of the uterus or develop within the uterine cavity are less likely to burst.
What if A Woman With Fibroids Become Pregnant? – Fibroids usually don’t interfere with getting pregnant. However, it’s possible that fibroids — especially submucosal fibroids — could cause infertility or pregnancy loss. These fibroids may also raise the risk of certain pregnancy complications, such as placental abruption, fetal growth restriction and preterm delivery. These noteworthy facts about fibroids are very important!
Facts About Treatment of Fibroids
How are fibroids treated? – Women who have fibroids but do not have any symptoms or that occur in a woman who is nearing menopause may not need treatment. However, for those with mild symptoms, your doctor may suggest taking medication. Several drugs commonly used for birth control can be prescribed to help control symptoms of fibroids But if a woman has fibroids with moderate or severe symptoms, surgery may be the best way to treat them.
Foods than can help reduce risk of Fibroids – Add plenty of fresh and cooked green vegetables, fresh fruit, legumes, and fish to your meals. Research shows that eating these foods regularly may help lower your risk for fibroids. On the other hand, eating beef, ham, lamb, and other red meat may raise your risk. Also avoid all kinds of alcohol because it raises the level of hormones needed for fibroids to grow.
Foods to avoid if you have fibroids: Avoid sugary foods and simple carbohydrates as it may trigger or worsen fibroids. These foods causes your body to make too much insulin. Excess insulin can cause weight gain and affect fibroid growth. You may also need to limit or avoid red meat, soy beans, soy milk and flax seed.
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating well may lower a woman’s risk of developing fibroids. In the case of functional ovarian cysts, these can often be prevented by the use of birth control pills, suppressing ovulation. However, there are no proven effective preventive measures for cysts and fibroids.
Questions about Fibroids to ask your doctor
1. How many fibroids do I have?
2. What size is my fibroid(s)?
3. Where is my fibroid(s) located (outer surface, inner surface, or in the wall of the uterus)?
4. Can I expect the fibroid(s) to grow larger?
5. How rapidly have they grown (if they were known about already)?
6. How will I know if the fibroid(s) is growing larger?
7. What problems can the fibroid(s) cause?
8. What tests or imaging studies are best for keeping track of the growth of my fibroids?
9. What are my treatment options if my fibroid(s) becomes a problem?
10. What are your views on treating fibroids with a hysterectomy versus other types of treatments?
A second opinion is always a good idea if your doctor has not answered your questions completely or does not seem to be meeting your needs.
Uterine fibroids are common growths that occur in the uterus. In most cases, they do not cause symptoms and do not require treatment. Millions of women have this health challenge, and these ones need to have the right information. The noteworthy facts about fibroids covered in this article should provide needed assistance for people living with fibroids.
Share your thoughts about this article with us in the comments section below.