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Understanding Uterine Fibroids – Causes And Treatment

Did you ever hear this word “uterine fibroids”?

Also referred to as Leiomyomas or Myomas, uterine fibroids are unarguably one of the most common types of benign tumors appearing in or on the uterus of women of reproductive age. 

For an easy understanding of myomas and how best we can manage them, we will begin by discussing fibroids.

Firstly, what are Fibroids?

Fibroids are tumours (or growths) made of muscle and fibrous connective tissues, which situate themselves in or around the uterus. These growths may vary in size, and they are also often non-cancerous (although some can be cancerous in rare cases).

Causes of fibroids

Note that the actual cause of fibroids remains unknown, but their risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Hormones
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Lifestyle choices (such as alcohol consumption)

How to identify possible myoma growths in your body

While myoma symptoms differ across women, the following are the most common:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Heavy and painful menstruation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Lump in the abdomen
  • Inability to control urine 
  • Back pain
  • Difficult conception

Diagnosis

Medical professionals can diagnose Myomas (or Uterine Fibroids) during a pelvic exam or using diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, MRI, laparoscopy, etc. 

Treatment

The severity and prognosis of your condition determine the uterine fibroids treatment method that would be adopted. Also, the size, number, location of the lump(s), and future desire for children are all factors your doctor will consider in treating you.

In some instances, it is not uncommon that fibroids can be left alone to melt away if they are small or cause no discomfort to the woman. When this is the case, close monitoring is to be carried out by your doctor to ensure that your prognosis does not worsen. 

Some of the medication and surgery options used in treating uterine fibroids condition are:

  • Medications – such as painkillers (like ibuprofen), birth control pills, iron supplements, IUDs, selective estrogen receptor modulators and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to mention a few.
  • Surgery – such as myomectomy, laparotomy, embolisation, endometrial ablation, or hysterectomy (in severe cases) may be needed.

It is important to note that while surgery is necessary to treat some specific cases of myoma, the procedure is not entirely risk-free. Sometimes, patients might suffer bleeding, infection, or blood clots, among other complications, during the process. For this reason, medical practitioners always advise regular health checkups with a healthcare provider to help arrest catch medical issues at infancy. 

Whether or not you are experiencing a symptom, we recommend that you keep watch over the following areas to protect your body from a myoma growth:

1.    Menstrual cycle/health.

2.    Red meat consumption.

3.    Sugar consumption. 

4.    Body weight.

5.    Consumption of food and fruits with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to discourage the growth of lumps and tumours.

6.    Family history (Whether a close family has ever been diagnosed with the condition).

7.    Other risk factors – Including old age, obesity, high blood pressure, ancestry (African descent), etc.

Conclusion

Most importantly, do your best to undergo periodic uterine screenings because most women do not show any symptoms. To read more about Uterine fibroid, click here.

You can also book your tests with us here or walk into any Afriglobal Medicare centre to carry out your diagnostic tests today. 

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