Fibroids are basically benign growths (not cancerous) affecting the uterus. They arise from the muscular wall of your uterus. Fibroids can be located either inside the uterus or outside it, attached to its wall. The number of fibroids can also be highly variable, from single to multiple.
How do you know if you have fibroids?
Fibroids occur mostly in women in the 3rd to 4th decades. The signs may be, a change in your menstrual periods, either in being longer or more frequent, as well as being more painful (dysmenorrhoea). You may also get anaemia from excessive bleeding.
You may also have difficulty in passing urine or stools. You may have pain or swelling in the abdominal area. Miscarriages and infertility can result in larger fibroids.
Sometimes, fibroids have no symptoms and are detected only on routine examinations.
How are fibroids diagnosed?
Imaging examinations of the uterus such as ultrasonography, hysteroscopy, hysterosalpingography and laparoscopy can be used to detect fibroids.
What is the treatment for fibroids?
When fibroids get painful, interfere with fertility or conception, or cause irregular and prolonged periods, they will have to be treated.
The modalities of treatment include-
- Drug Therapy- Birth control pills can be used to control the menstrual periods.
- Hysterectomy- This is the surgical removal of large fibroids of the uterus.
It can be of two types-
- Open or abdominal hysterectomy
- Vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy
- Hysteroscopy- Only the fibroid is removed from the inner wall of uterus by a resectoscope. The uterus is not surgically removed in this procedure.
- Endometrial Ablation- This procedure abrades or removes inner lining wall of the uterus.