Uterine fibroid is one of the most common gynecological problems. How to diagnose it in time?
Contrary to the common prejudice, fibroid never degenerates into cancer. This tumor is composed of muscle cells and is always benign. Nevertheless, it can lead to rather unpleasant consequences, so one should not leave it untreated.
Why does uterine fibroid develop?
The biggest uterine fibroid that has ever been removed weighed… 63 kg! Such a giant size is an exception rather than the rule. Most often, the uterine nodes range from several millimeters to several centimeters in size and weigh very little.
The doctors still do not have an exact answer to this question. However, a number of risk factors still can be pointed out.
Fibroids often occur in the women whose direct relatives in the female line also suffered from this disease. However, it happens that the chain of several consecutive generations of women, who faced with this problem, is often interrupted: great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother had uterine fibroid, and the daughter does not have it. Or vice versa – a benign tumor occurs in women, although no one in their family has had anything like this. In such cases, we can just talk about predisposition, and not about the fact that the disease must manifest itself.
In particular, it can be caused by the overabundance of female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone. It is no coincidence that the women of childbearing age face with the disease most often. With the start of menopause, estrogen levels decline naturally, so fibroids do not occur, and if a woman already has them, they may be reduced.
Plump women are particularly at risk in this sense. The fact is that estrogen is produced not only by the ovaries, but by the adipose tissue as well. The more adipose tissue the woman has, the higher the risk of estrogen abundance is.
Abortion and complicated childbirth
Mechanical damage to the uterus in case of abortion, curettage, and traumatic childbirth. Fibroids can also be a consequence of the inflammatory process that affects the condition of the uterus walls.
Problems in sex
Problems in sexual life: for example, irregular sex or lack of satisfaction from it. When a woman is excited, blood flows to her pelvic organs. After reaching orgasm, it flows in the opposite direction for a few minutes. If there is no emotional discharge, there is stagnation of blood. This affects the genitals adversely, increasing the risk of fibroids.
Other factors may also lead to the stagnation of blood. For example, sedentary lifestyle.
How is uterine fibroid manifested?
Most often, fibroid is diagnosed unexpectedly during a regular visit to a gynecologist or during ultrasound examination of the genitals, which is conducted for other reasons. This is not surprising: in many cases, benign tumors do not produce any symptoms, so women do not have any complaints or suspicions. Nevertheless, there are situations when a fibroid still manifests itself. It may reveal itself due to some worrying signs.
- Profuse and prolonged menstruation or bleeding in the middle of the cycle. It not only interferes with daily activities, but also greatly reduces the level of hemoglobin. As a result, the woman gets tired quickly, and her efficiency decreases.
- Pain in the abdomen and in the lumbar region.
- Frequent urination. If a fibroid grows outside the uterus, it can put pressure on the bladder, so the need to go to a toilet occurs more often than usually. Such tumors can compress the intestines as well – in this case, constipation can be observed.
- Problems with pregnancy are observed if the fibroids are growing in the uterus. They may interfere with the embryo’s attachment and growth, so they often cause abortions, including abortions at the early stages.
Uterine Fibroid Treatment
All of these symptoms point to the need for treatment or removal of fibroids. Fortunately, not everyone suffers from them. According to statistics, fibroid nodes can be found in approximately 40% of women of childbearing age. However, only 10-20% of these cases require active treatment. Nowadays, there are many methods of getting rid of fibroids.
How to Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid?
They should be selected strictly individually. The doctor takes into account the size, number and location of the nodes, as well as the general condition of the woman. An important question is whether she wants to have a baby in the future. If so, the treatment should be especially gentle.
The nodes are small, thus not showing any fibroid symptoms
Medical observation is needed: visit the gynecologist every six months and undergo the ultrasound scan of the uterus. This allows tracking whether the nodes are increasing. If not, the treatment is not carried out, and medical supervision is enough. It is necessary to change the lifestyle: abandon thermal treatments (baths, saunas), suntan, and excessive physical exertion.
The nodes have started to increase or the woman has come to the doctor with the midsize uterine fibroid, which causes general discomfort
The doctor prescribes low-dose hormonal therapy or chooses an intrauterine hormonal system for the woman. The task of such treatment is to reduce excess estrogen. It helps to inhibit the growth of nodes. Timely appointment of such treatment helps to avoid surgeries.
Nodes are large, there are symptoms, there are problems with urinating or the fibroid is growing into the uterine cavity
In these situations, the doctors used to remove the entire uterus some time ago. But now doctors are trying to conduct more sparing procedures because many patients are still young and want to have children in the future. If possible, the surgeon tries to remove only the node itself – this surgery is called myomectomy. Very often it is a laparoscopic surgery, i.e. it is performed through a few punctures in the abdominal wall. Uterine artery embolization is an even more delicate method: the vessels feeding the node block are separated from the blood flow, and the fibroid begins to dissolve without getting nutrients. After three months, it reduces in size considerably. Unfortunately, the removal of the node does not guarantee that fibroids will not appear again. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust the hormones after the surgery. Hormonal drugs can be taken even before the surgical intervention: they can make the nodes slightly decrease in size and so they will be easier to remove.