What are Fibroids? Fibroids are enlarged fibrous tissue growths that develop in the uterus. They can cause pain and/or bleeding when they grow too large. Fibroids are common, and many women experience them during their menstrual cycle or in their later years.
Fibroids are also known as leiomyoma, leiomyomata, or myoma. They range in size from microscopic to masses that fill the entire abdominal cavity, and there are frequently multiples present at the same time. They can be as large as a full-term pregnancy in some cases. This health problem is common in women now and can affect women of all ages, but it is most common in women between the ages of 40 and 50.
Types of Fibroids: What are the Types of Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids can be found in three different locations: intramural, submucosal, and subserosal.
- Intramural fibroids are the most common type and are located in the uterine wall. They enlarge the uterus and can cause pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, back pain, and pressure. All fibroids begin in the wall and frequently migrate to other areas.
- Submucosal fibroids are located inside the uterine lining and protrude inward. These result in heavy bleeding, prolonged periods, and anemia.
- Subserosal fibroids are located outside of the uterine lining and protrude outward. They have less of an impact on your period, but they may cause back pain or urinary pressure. Subserosal and submucosal fibroid can also grow on a stalk attached to the uterus, in which case it is referred to as pedunculated fibroid.
Fibroids Symptoms: Know the Symptoms of Fibroids
Common fibroid symptoms vary according to size, location, and amount:
- Pelvic discomfort and pressure
- Excessive bleeding, prolonged periods, clot passage, anemia
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Bladder pressure, which causes frequent urination
- Constipation and bloating are caused by bowel pressure.
- Complications of pregnancy
Women are usually subjected to an ultrasound to determine the presence of fibroids. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is also used to see if it is treatable with embolization and to learn more about any underlying disease.
Fibroids and Pregnancy
Many women worry about the connection between fibroids and pregnancy. While the effects vary from patient to patient, fibroids can have a negative impact on a pregnancy. They may alter the shape of the uterus, reducing fertility.
Their location or size may have an impact on whether you become pregnant, remain pregnant, or have a normal delivery.
The rate at which uterine fibroids interfere with fertility varies from woman to woman. According to various studies, approximately 5 to 10% of all infertile women have at least one fibroid. This does not necessarily imply that the fibroids are causing these women’s infertility. (Source)
While it is possible to have fibroids and become pregnant, fibroids can cause a number of complications that make carrying to the term difficult. There is substantial evidence that pregnancy without fibroids will be easier, safer, and more successful, from fibroid pain during pregnancy to the risk of miscarriage. (Source)
How Do you Know If you Have Fibroids or Not?
Well, that requires diagnosis and a quick appointment with your doctor where they can do an ultrasound and look out for whether or not you have a fibroid.
A myomectomy is a procedure that removes fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. Myomectomy is the best treatment option for women who have fibroid symptoms and want to have children in the future. A myomectomy can be performed in a variety of ways. You may be eligible for an abdominal myomectomy, a laparoscopic myomectomy, or a hysteroscopic myomectomy depending on the size, number, and location of your fibroids.
- Abdominal Myomectomy : An incision is made through the skin on the lower abdomen during this procedure (a “bikini cut”). The fibroids are removed from the uterine wall, and the uterine muscle is sewn back together with multiple layers of stitches. During the procedure, you will be asleep. The majority of women spend two nights in the hospital and four to six weeks at home recovering.
- Myomectomy via Laparoscopic Technique: Four one-centimeter incisions are made in the lower abdomen during a laparoscopic myomectomy: one at the belly button, one below the bikini line near the pubic hair, and one near each hip. Carbon dioxide gas fills the abdominal cavity. A thin, illuminated telescope is inserted through an incision to allow doctors to examine the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. To remove the fibroids, long instruments are inserted through the other incisions. After that, the uterine muscle is sewn back together, the gas is released, and the skin incisions are closed. During the procedure, you will be asleep. The recovery period is shorter than that of an abdominal myomectomy; women typically spend one night in the hospital and two to four weeks recovering at home.
- Myomectomy by Hysteroscopic Technique: This type of myomectomy is only available to women who have submucosal fibroids, which are fibroids that expand from the uterine wall into the uterine cavity. This technique cannot remove fibroids located within the uterine wall. You will lie on your back with your feet in gynaecology stirrups during the procedure. You will almost certainly be asleep during the procedure. A speculum is inserted into the vagina, and a long, slender telescope is inserted into the uterine cavity through the cervix. The uterine cavity is filled with fluid to separate the uterine walls. Submucosal fibroids are removed using instruments passed through the hysteroscope. You will be able to go home after several hours of observation in the recovery room because this is an out-patient procedure. Most women rest at home for one to four days to recover.
The uterus is removed during a hysterectomy, which is a major surgical procedure. Many women choose hysterectomy to end their fibroid symptoms for good. Menstrual bleeding stops after hysterectomy, pelvic pressure is relieved, frequent urination improves, and new fibroids cannot grow. After a hysterectomy, a woman is no longer able to become pregnant.
During a hysterectomy, the ovaries are not always removed. In general, if a woman is in or nearing menopause, her ovaries are removed. If the ovaries appear abnormal or if the patient wishes to reduce her risk of developing ovarian cancer later in life, the ovaries may be removed. The removal of the ovaries in pre-menopausal women can result in hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms.
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE)
Uterine artery embolization is a relatively new procedure that can be used instead of open surgery to treat fibroids. Embolization is a technique that restricts blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and die. This frequently reduces menstrual bleeding as well as symptoms of pain, pressure, urinary frequency, and constipation.
An interventional radiologist performs UAE in a radiology suite rather than an operating room. Before beginning the procedure, an intravenous (IV) line will be placed, and you will be sedated. Throughout the procedure, you will be awake but sleepy. (Source )
Ayurveda and Fibroid
The best Ayurvedic treatment for fibroid is determined by the patient’s unique situation. Her fibroid symptoms, age, current body weight, and desire for children are all factors to consider. There are numerous factors to consider when deciding on the best fibroid treatment. In the treatment of uterine fibroid, Ayurvedic therapies and remedies are effective. Ayurvedic medicines for uterine fibroids include Agni Rasayana, Omni Amritam, Curcumin, and Praval Pishti. (Source)
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