They are abnormal growths of the muscles of the womb. The exact cause is unknown.
They are not cancers. They are common, in 50-70% of women. Less than half of women with fibroids have symptoms. It can be huge. For women with symptoms, it can be stressful & sometimes devastating.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Heavy menses; some use adult diapers, some sit on bowls just to bleed into it, some need to be transfused with blood after each period.
- Painful menses so severe some can’t move/ work.
- Abdomen (Tummy) & back pain.
- Painful sex, in some sex, is impossible.
- Frequent urination.
- Protrude tummy(may look like pregnancy)
- It can contribute to infertility in some women depending on the location of fibroids.
- Can affect kidneys.
It can result in;
- Disturbance of pregnancy with the risk of miscarriage or premature delivery of babies.
- Repeated hospital admissions from degeneration of the fibroid in pregnancy. This can be painful.
- Abnormal position of baby necessitating CS.
- High risk of bleeding after delivery
If you have no symptoms or it’s not affecting you in any way, treatment may be unnecessary.
You should do an annual pelvic ultrasound to monitor the fibroids
Treatment depends on the size & severity of symptoms, age, desire for babies, available specialist/ expertise.
Treatment can be MEDICAL (non-hormonal/ hormonal) SURGICAL (minimally invasive or open surgeries).
Medications can treat the symptoms and shrink fibroids but it may grow back.
Some would have to do surgeries to get better.
Myomectomy method of removing of fibroids.
Hysterectomy, that is, removal of the womb.
There are newer & more advanced method of treatment now (discuss with your specialist on what they can offer)
Please ensure you are receiving care with a specialist (Gynaecologist)
Don’t fall a victim to scammers who dupe women promising them the impossible treatments.
COMPLICATIONS OF FIBROIDS.
FIBROIDS & FERTILITY
Fibroid can affect fertility by affecting your sexual health, by its location or from it’s the treatment.
Fibroid in Sexual health:
- Irregular/prolonged bleeding can interfere with sexual intercourse.
- It makes it hard to estimate fertile window Painful sex from fibroids can reduce the sexual frequency.
- Recurrent blood loss can cause anaemia which can make the woman tire easily & sickly.
- Going to the hospital for pain, blood transfusion, heavy bleeding, and stress etc. can lead to loss of libido in both partners.
- It can block the path of sperm/egg/ formed embryo preventing fertilisation & pregnancy. It can make distance sperms have to travel longer.
- It can disturb the lining of the womb preventing a successful pregnancy.
- It can make the womb hostile for a successful pregnancy.
Fibroid treatment & Fertility
- Frequent NSAIDs usage for pain can affect ovulation
- Some drugs used to treat fibroids have a contraceptive effect preventing pregnancy.
Not all women with fibroids have Infertility, if you are, see a Gynaecologist.