Uterine Fibroids Treatment
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous extensions of the uterus that often emerge during childbearing years. Also named leiomyomas (lie-o-my-O-muhs) or myomas, uterine fibroids aren’t connected with an enhanced risk of uterine cancer and seldom develop into cancer.
Fibroids vary in size from seedlings, undetectable by the human eye, to bulky masses that can distort and enlarge the uterus. You can have a single fibroid or multiple ones. In critical cases, a number of fibroids can develop the uterus so much that it reaches the rib cage and can add weight.
Several women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives. But you might not understand you have uterine fibroids because they often cause no signs. Your gynecologists’ may discover fibroids incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.
Several women who have fibroids don’t have any signs. In those that do, symptoms can be influenced by the location, size, and several fibroids in women who have signs, the most common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual periods lasting more than a week
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Backache or leg pains
Doctors don’t know the cause of uterine fibroids, but research and clinical experience point to these factors:
- Genetic changes. Many fibroids contain variations in genes that vary from those in healthy uterine muscle cells.
- Hormones. Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate the evolution of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids.
- Fibroids contain extra estrogen and progesterone receptors than regular uterine muscle cells do. Fibroids tend to shrink after menopause due to a reduction in hormone production.
- Other growth factors. Things that help the body control tissues, such as insulin-like increase factors, may affect fibroid growth.
Extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM is the material that makes cells hold together, like mortar between bricks. ECM is raised in fibroids and makes them fibrous.
There are some known risk factors for uterine fibroids, other than being a woman of reproductive age. Factors that can have an impact on fibroid growth include:
- Race. Although a woman of generative age can improve fibroids, black women are more likely to have fibroids than are women of other racial groups. Besides, black women have fibroids at younger ages, and they’re also likely to have more fibroids, along with more severe symptoms.
- Heredity. If your mother or sister had fibroids, you’re at improved risk of developing them.
- Other factors. The onset of menstruation at an initial age; obesity; a vitamin D deficiency; having a diet higher in red meat and lower in green vegetables, fruit and dairy; and drinking liquor, including beer, appear to improve your risk of developing fibroids.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you have:
- Pelvic pain that doesn’t go away
- Overly heavy, prolonged, or painful periods
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
- Unexplained low red blood cell count (anemia)