The uterine fibroids are abnormal growths that grow inside or on a woman’s uterus. Fibroids are tumorous legions that can sometimes grow too big to cause heavy periods and severe abdominal pain. You should not worry if you have uterine fibroids as they are typically benign and noncancerous in nature.
If you are having trouble getting pregnant, a uterine fibroid can be one of the issues. Here we are going to discuss everything about uterine fibroids and how the condition can be managed.
Types of uterine fibroids
Before the right female infertility treatment can be decided it is important to consider what kind of fibroid is the issue. Leiomyomas, myomas, fibromas, and uterine myomas are some other terms used for fibroids. According to OWH (the Office on Women’s Health), up to 80% of women suffer from uterine fibroids by the age of 50. However, most women do not even realize that they have fibroids as they experience no symptoms. Even if you have symptoms, you do not have to worry. Just visit the best IVF center in Meerut for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Uterine fibroids can be of different types depending on their location in or on the uterus.
The most common type of fibroid that appears within the muscular wall of the uterus. If left untreated they can grow larger, stretching the womb and making it hostile for successful conceiving.
These form on the outside region of the uterus known as a serosa. When too big in size they can make the womb appear bigger on one side.
If the subserosal tumors develop a stem to support the tumor, this formation is known as the pedunculated fibroid.
The least common type of fibroids, submucosal fibroids form in the middle layer of the uterus known as the myometrium.
What are the causes of fibroids?
There are no known clear causes of uterine fibroids. However, several factors can influence their formation which includes:
Two female hormones estrogen and progesterone produced by the ovaries cause the uterine lining to regenerate during each menstrual cycle. These hormones can also stimulate the accelerated growth of fibroids.
During pregnancy, there is a rise in the production of estrogen and progesterone that can cause uterine fibroids to develop rapidly.
The condition is known to run in the family. If your closely related family members such as your mother, sister, or grandmother have a history of uterine fibroids you too are at risk of developing it.
Some women are more prone to develop fibroids than others
Apart from pregnancy and family history, there are some other risk factors to consider. Women over the age of 30 are more likely to develop fibroids. High body weight is another risk factor. Studies suggest that African-Americans are at greater risk of developing fibroids.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids
The symptoms of fibroids vary depending on the number of tumors, the location, and the size of the fibroids. For instance, women suffering from submucosal fibroids experience heavy menstrual bleeding and are at a higher risk of not conceiving. This is why assessment test for fibroids is often included in female infertility treatment.
Menopausal women or the ones going through menopause may not have any symptoms. This is because menopause decreases the levels of estrogen and progesterone. The reduced levels of these hormones may cause fibroids to shrink.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should consult the best IVF center in Meerut to get a complete diagnosis.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Increased menstrual cramps
- Pain in lower back or pelvis
- Too much pain during intercourse
- Increased urination
- Menstruation period longer than usual
- Feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen
- Swelling or enlargement of the abdomen
Any of these symptoms can indicate fibroids.
How are fibroids diagnosed?
For proper diagnosis of uterine fibroids, your gynecologist may first ask for a pelvic exam. It is the preliminary test to check the size, shape, and condition of the uterus. Depending on the test results, you may be recommended:
Ultrasound: To see any internal structures such as fibroids, ultrasound is an excellent test as it produces images of the uterus on the screen. Your doctor may also recommend a transvaginal ultrasound (the ultrasound wand is inserted into the vagina) for clearer pictures of the lesions.
Pelvic MRI: In some cases, patients are required to undergo a pelvic MRI that produces in-depth images of the ovaries, uterus, and other pelvic organs.
How uterine fibroid is treated?
The treatment plan for uterine fibroids is decided based on the size of fibroids, age, and the overall health of the patient. Your doctor may use a combination of treatments.
Medications can help regulate the levels of estrogen and progesterone to shrink fibroids. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, such as leuprolide (Lupron) are actively used to shrink fibroids. Surgery is the option for removing very large fibroids. The surgical removal of fibroids is known as myomectomy.
Don’t worry if you have fibroids. You still can get pregnant with proper female infertility treatment. Be optimistic and discuss available options with your doctor.