Fibroids are very common these days. Around 1 in 3 women develop fibroids. They develop in and around the uterus and are made of muscles and fibrous tissues. They vary in size and their growth can be affected by hormones such as estrogen. It is important that you get yourself checked regularly especially if you find something off about your menstrual cycle.
Dr. Satabdi Dey, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Siliguri, shared with HerZindagi that the exact cause of the development of fibroids remains "undiscovered but some say that the cause may be genetic tendencies, or it can also be caused by changes in growth factors – like proteins involved in the growth of cells and tissues within the womb. The size of a fibroid can vary- it can be the size of a pea or even the size of a melon. The most common fibroids develop in the muscle of the womb, inside the wall of the womb. Fibroids can be diagnosed during a routine ultrasound scan."
However, symptoms of fibroids as listed by Dey, can be:
- Painful periods
- Heavy periods
- Bleeding between periods
- Lower backache
- Painful sexual intercourse
Can Fibroids Cause Infertility? If Yes, Then How?
Fibroids may be associated with fertility issues when one is trying to conceive. In the vast majority of cases, Dey shared that "fibroids generally do not cause problems with one’s fertility. There mere presence of fibroids does not cause infertility. However, sometimes that muscle growth might stop sperm from being able to get into the womb effectively."
"Sometimes they can block the entrance to the fallopian tubes, which is from where the fertilized egg comes down in order to get into the womb. If someone has a lot of fibroids it can make it difficult for that fertilised egg to find anywhere to implant in your womb and start to grow. It may be said that fibroids cause infertility depending upon their size and location," she added.
Can Fibroids Complicate Future Pregnancy?
Dey shared that you need to know the size of the fibroid and its location. If there is a fibroid inside the cavity- where the baby grows, then it will hamper the growth of the baby in the initial phases itself. "Any fibroid in the cavity needs to be removed if one is trying to conceive. The fibroids which are outside the uterus do not cause problems," she shared.
However, if those fibroids are too big, they may cause a problem later in the pregnancy, perhaps in the second or the third trimester. This may cause pre-term deliveries. So if those fibroids outside the uterus are very big- then they need to be removed.
Treatment For Fibroids
Most fibroids do not need treatment at all. However, surgery is considered to be the best modality of treatment.
Dey shared that medical relief of symptoms could be used for women who are experiencing heavy periods and that involves hormone coil-like Mirena coil, giving hormone tablets to reduce the amount of bleeding, giving medication to try to shrink the fibroids.
Yet, "surgery remains the optimum management. Surgery involves myomectomy- which can be carried out either through open surgery, a keyhole surgery, or sometimes through a hysteroscopy wherein, a camera is introduced through the neck of the womb removing the fibroids within the cavity of the uterus.
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Other non-surgical techniques include- occlusion of the vessels that supply the fibroid, which is called Uterine Artery Embolisation. The definitive treatment for a woman who has completed her family would be a hysterectomy."
So if you happen to have any of the above-stated symptoms- visit your gynecologist as soon as possible and get yourself diagnosed. It is important for one to know that if you do have fibroids- where are they located and whether it will impact your fertility.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on your health with expert inputs.