Fibroid is Non-cancerous growths in the uterus that can develop during a woman’s childbearing years. A lot of women dont realise, but they sometimes notice growth on their skin, on different parts of their reproductive organs.
Women who do have symptoms (around 1 in 3) may experience:
- painful periods
- tummy (abdominal) pain
- lower back pain
- a frequent need to urinate
- pain or discomfort during sex
Why fibroids develop
They are made up of muscle and connective tissue cells and can vary in size, ranging from small, seed-like particles to large masses that can distort the shape of the uterus.
The exact cause of fibroids is not well understood, but several factors may contribute to their development:
- Hormones: Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate the development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle, seem to promote the growth of fibroids. Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal uterine muscle cells do.
- Genetic Factors: There appears to be a genetic component, as fibroids tend to run in families. If your mother or sister had fibroids, you may be at an increased risk.
- Pregnancy and Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy and hormonal changes associated with taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy may affect the growth of fibroids.
Types of fibroids
Fibroids can grow anywhere in the womb and vary in size considerably. Some can be the size of a pea, whereas others can be the size of a melon.
The main types of fibroids are:
- intramural fibroids – the most common type of fibroid, which develop in the muscle wall of the womb
- subserosal fibroids – fibroids that develop outside the wall of the womb into the pelvis and can become very large
- submucosal fibroids – fibroids that develop in the muscle layer beneath the womb’s inner lining and grow into the cavity of the womb
Can women with fibroids get pregnant?
Yes, women with fibroids can get pregnant. However, the presence of fibroids can sometimes affect fertility or lead to complications during pregnancy. The impact of fibroids on fertility depends on various factors, including the size, number, and location of the fibroids.
Small fibroids that do not obstruct the uterine cavity or the fallopian tubes are less likely to interfere with fertility. However, larger fibroids or those located within the uterine cavity may affect fertility by interfering with the implantation of the embryo or disrupting the blood flow to the uterus.
- Miscarriage: Fibroids may increase the risk of miscarriage, particularly if they are located in the uterine cavity.
- Preterm Birth: Women with fibroids are at a higher risk of delivering prematurely.
- Cesarean Section (C-section): Fibroids can sometimes obstruct the birth canal, necessitating a C-section delivery
How are fibroids treated during pregnancy?
- : During pregnancy, treatment for uterine fibroids is limited because of the risk to the fetus. Bed rest, hydration, and mild pain relievers may be prescribed to help expectant mothers manage symptoms of fibroids
Can women with fibroids get an abortion?
Now there are multiple papers that are published to discuss different stand points on this. AIIMS : Indian Medical Institutes, have mentioned that women with fibroids can opt for medical abortion, where surgery would be dangerous for the women’s health.