A fibroid doesn’t have to be dangerous, but it is still advisable to schedule regular check-ups with the gynecologist in order to receive an early diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment to be able to.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that can form individually in the uterus, but usually occur more frequently. In rare cases, fibroids can also develop in the cervix.
The diagnosis is by no means a cause for concern, as only 0.5% of cases develop malignantly.
This means that while there may be symptoms, the risk of cancer is very low.
Nevertheless, you have to carry out appropriate check-ups and, if necessary, initiate treatment, as uterine fibroids can affect the fertility of women and the hormonal balance.
The Sociedad Española de Ginecología y Obstetricia (Spanish Society of Gynecology and Midwifery) affirms that around 70% of women will have fibroids at some point in their lives.
Nevertheless, most of them do not know about it and usually only become aware of it after a long time.
For this reason, in today’s post we share 5 important facts related to uterine fibroids that every woman should know. Read on to learn more about it.
1. What is a uterine fibroid?
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that usually appear after the age of 20.
These fibroids are usually round and are also known as leiomyomas. The size of a fibroid can vary, it can be microscopic, but it can also grow and grow up to eight inches.
Genetic and hormonal factors often play a role in development; unfortunately, uterine fibroids very often lead to infertility in the affected woman.
2. What types of uterine fibroids are there?
The fibroids are divided into different types, depending on where exactly they are in the uterus.
- This type of fibroid grows into the lining of the uterus in front of the muscle layer of the uterus.
- This type is rather rare and often small.
- As a rule, bleeding disorders occur here.
- This forms on the outside of the uterus and grows from the muscle layer into the outer layer (serosa).
- This makes the uterus appear knotty.
- The fibroid develops here from all layers of the uterus.
- In this type, the fibroid only grows within the muscle layer of the uterus. It is the most common type.
- As the fibroid grows, the inner or outer walls of the uterus may expand.
- In this case, the fibroid develops next to the uterus.
- This is where the fibroid develops in the muscle layer of the cervix, but this type is relatively rare.
3. What are the symptoms of a uterine fibroid?
In many cases, it is not easy to spot the fibroids because there are no symptoms to clearly indicate it.
In around half of those affected, however, various signs can indicate a fibroid.
The most important of these are:
- Heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding
- Swelling and pain in the lower abdomen,
- sudden weight gain,
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- risky pregnancy or childbirth,
- Pain during intercourse,
- changed urination habits or
- Lumbar pain.
4. How do uterine fibroids affect fertility?
One of the most common concerns of affected women is that fibroids can cause infertility.
When the benign tumors grow to a certain size, getting pregnant can be tricky.
The risk of infertility varies from case to case, mostly it depends on the number, size and the exact location of the fibroids in the uterus.
Fibroids grow due to the activity of estrogens and since progesterone dominates during pregnancy, fertility treatment can be carried out.
It must be noted, however, that the risk of an undesired termination is greater in the first trimester of pregnancy and that premature birth could also occur.
Myomectomy is therefore an option for women of reproductive age who want to become pregnant.
5. What are the treatment options for uterine fibroids?
Many women diagnosed with fibroids think that surgery is the best way to get rid of it quickly.
However, if the fibroids are small, you should know that there are other treatment options that do not necessarily require surgery.
- Generally , small fibroids are treated with medication prescribed by a specialist doctor.
- If these are not effective and the fibroids increase in size, there is no choice but to surgically remove them.
- In this case, a myomectomy is performed without affecting the uterus.
- However, if complications arise, a hysterectomy may also be required, which involves removing part or all of the uterus.
- Many specialists recommend treatment with ulipristal acetate (“morning-after pill”). This substance regulates progesterone and consequently reduces fibroids in the uterus.
Observe yourself for possible symptoms and conduct regular check- ups with your gynecologist in order to receive an appropriate diagnosis of this disease if necessary.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is always worth getting advice from your doctor and starting the best treatment as early as possible.