Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign tumours that originate in the uterus (womb) and are usually a round or semi-round in shape. They are the most common gynaecological tumours in women, affecting 30% of women above 35 years old.

Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation and a bloated stomach
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pressure on the bladder
  • Pressure on the rectum

How Is Uterine Fibroid Treated?

If you have uterine fibroids, treatment is necessary where it affects your daily life, health, fertility or when there is a risk of cancer. A detailed examination is essential in order to check the degree and size of fibroids that are present before offering treatment options

Some of the treatment options include

  • Pain-Relievers

If the fibroid has minor symptoms of pain, your doctor may recommend some pain relievers.

  • Hormonal Medication

Hormonal medication is useful for women who have uterine fibroids. It helps to decrease the bleeding during menses, and can be used momentarily for symptom relief. It also helps to reduce the size of the fibroid before surgery. As there are several options, one should discuss this with your gynaecologist.

  • Surgical Treatment

If you are experiencing severe symptoms, or if the doctor notices that the fibroids are big or growing in size, then it is time to be treated surgically. The surgery techniques that are currently used include

1. Myomectomy
This involves the removal of fibroids without taking out the healthy tissue of the uterus.

2. Hysterectomy
This surgery involves the removal of the uterus is usually recommended only when the fibroids are larger than usual or pose cancerous risks.

3. Uterine Artery Embolization
This surgery involves cutting off the blood supply of the fibroids under X-ray guidance.

A number of women will experience uterine fibroids at some point in their life. Some of the women will find out about it during their routine exam or ultrasound. Just remember, that it is absolutely important to understand all available treatment options, risks and benefits before deciding.

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