Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that originate from the smooth muscle layer of the uterus and its accompanying connective tissues. They commonly occur during the middle and later reproductive years, and the most common benign tumors in females.
Most of these fibroids are asymptomatic, meaning signs and symptoms are not readily seen or experienced. Oftentimes, though continuous growth may cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, urinary frequency and urgency. Fibroids may cause blockages in the fallopian tubes, preventing fertilization from happening. This can result to temporary or even permanent infertility.
Several theories have been developed to explain the occurrence of fibroids. Some studies show that genetic predisposition may play a role. Fibroid growth seems to run in families. Females who are of African descent are two to three times more likely to develop uterine fibroids more than any other races.
One hormone that is deemed responsible for the growth of fibroids is estrogen. In excessive amounts, it has been linked to fibroids. These growths can happen anytime during the early 20s, and may later on shrink during menopause. Some women develop fibroids and lose them, without knowing they ever had them in the first place.
Being overweight, never having children, and onset of menarche before age 10 all increase the risk of developing fibroids.
What are the signs of uterine fibroids symptoms?
We have already stated that most cases of uterine fibroid development produce no symptoms. When women do experience symptoms, the most common is irregular vaginal bleeding with the presence of blood clots.
Other symptoms often experienced are abdominal pain, feeling of bloatedness, increase in weight size, and change in abdominal contour.
Uterine fibroids are often diagnosed through an abdominal, vaginal, or pelvic ultrasound. These high-frequency sound waves create images of the pelvic organs. Not only can it detect the size and shape of the pelvic organs, it can also detect inflammation, free-fluid cysts, and tumors in the pelvic cavity.
What is a fibroids treatment?
The growth of fibroids can have debilitating effects on a woman of childbearing age. Since these fibroids potentially block the fallopian tubes, fertilization is most unlikely as there is virtually no way for sperm to come in contact with the egg.
Treatment of fibroids depend on the size, shape, location, age of the woman, as well as the couple’s desire to have children. In most cases, treatment in not necessary especially if the woman has no symptoms. If no malignancy is found, bleeding can be managed by hormonal therapy. However, a procedure known as dilation and curettage may be performed if the abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by fibroids needs surgical scraping.
The procedure in which only the fibroids are removed is called myomectomy. However, if a suspicion of cancer or if ovarian masses are present, removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries, called hysterectomy, may be indicated.
How can I prevent the growth of uterine fibroids?
First of all, women should watch their weight and avoid gaining it by the age of 18. Body weight tends to increase estrogen production, which is the culprit behind fibroid growth. It is important that through exercise and proper diet, women should maintain their normal ideal body figure.
Since the main goal is to reduce production of estrogen. The woman should stop taking hormone replacement pills, birth control pills, or using spermicides.
Stress can deplete progesterone in the body and lead to surges in estrogen. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or exercise in order to do this.
Not only can these tips prevent you from developing fibroids, they can also help you achieve a healthy body, capable of conceiving.
In traditional Chinese medicine, fibroids are believed to be caused by stagnant blood flow. Because of this, treatment involves steps to help soothe and eliminate fibroids. This includes wearing of loose, comfortable clothing, taking warm baths, and taking hot drinks of water mixed with lemon or lime.
While most fibroids are harmless, TCM uses conservative methods in coaxing the body to shrink fibroids. If uterine fibroids are severely affecting the couple’s ability to conceive, only then is it best to have them surgically removed.
Once surgery has been performed for this purpose, you can then start over and try your chance at being finally getting pregnant.