What Are Fibroids?
If you reading this and you are a woman, there’s a good chance you have fibroids.
Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or myomas, are extremely common among women. In fact, half of all women have fibroids by the time they reach 50.
Fibroids are mysterious tumors that grow on, in or around your uterus. Usually– noncancerous and range in size from microscopic to the size of a small melon. Scientists have yet to determine the exact cause of fibroids.
But they are thought to be caused by hormones and if your mom or sister(s) has had them there is a good chance you’ll have them too.
Most women with fibroids have no symptoms at all. When they start to grow in size and press up against other organs is usually when you start to experience pain and pressure. If you have fibroids you most likely have more multiple, not just one. Fibroids form in different parts of your uterous.
Four Types of Fibroids
- Myometrial fibroids grow in the muscular walls of the uterus
- Pedunculated fibroids grow on stalks on the outside or inside of the uterus
- Submucosal fibroids grow under the surface of the uterine lining
- Subserosal fibroids grow under the outside lining of the uterus
- Image – Microscopic view of a benign uterine tumor (fibromyoma)
It is possible to have them and never need treatment, especially if you find out you have them close to menopause. That’s usually when fibroids stop growing and actually start to shrink in size.
Some women are not as lucky. In fact, about 3 out of 10 hysterectomies in the U.S. are due to fibroids. Fortunately, there are treatments which include medication, hormone therapy, surgery, myomectomy, uterine artery embolization, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Fibroids cause several symptoms depending on their size, where they are located and how close they are to other pelvic organs.
Common Symptoms Include
- Feeling like you need to urinate, but unable to empty your bladder completely
- Frequent urination
- Heavy bleeding during your period
- Infertility or problems carrying a baby to term – resulting in miscarriages
- Long periods- 7 days or longer
- Low back pain
- Pain during sex
- Painful periods
- Pelvic pain
- Pressure or pain on the rectum that feels like you need to have a bowel movement
- Pressure or heavy feeling in your lower abdomen or pelvic area
- Spotting between periods
- The larger the fibroid the more pressure and severe, localized pain you will experience.
Also, if you have prolonged or heaving bleeding during menstruation you can develop anemia due to iron deficiency. Anemia can make you feel tired, cause headaches and make you feel light-headed.
If you experienced any of these symptoms, you should see your gynecologist to for diagnosis and fibroid treatment options.
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