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Uterine Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours in the uterus. This is a most common health problem among women of child bearing age. Generally the complaint of uterine fibroid comes between the age group of 30 to 45 years. This benign tumour can cause pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, infertility. It can vary in size, from that of a few mm to as large as a melon. Small fibroids may not need treatment while large fibroid can be treated only through surgery. Very large fibroids as large as water-melon are not very common.
Some women have no symptoms to indicate that they have fibroids, and will find out only on a routine ultrasound or gynaecological examination.
Fibroids affect at least 20% of all women during their life. Overweight and obese women are at significantly higher risk of developing fibroids, compared to women of normal weight.
Symptoms of Fibroids
- Anaemia (as a result of heavy periods)
- Discomfort in the lower abdomen (especially if fibroids are large)
- Retention/frequent urination
- Heavy painful periods
- Painful sex
- Swelling in the lower abdomen (especially if fibroids are large)
Other symptoms may include:
- Pregnancy problems
- Fertility problems
- Repeated miscarriages
- A fibroid can sometimes degenerate causing fever and severe pain.
- During a woman's reproductive years her oestrogen and progesterone levels are high. When oestrogen levels are high, especially during pregnancy, fibroids tend to swell. When oestrogen levels are low fibroids may shrink as can be seen after menopause.
Treatment of Major Fibroid
Treatment of fibroids can range from no treatment at all to surgery. Unless fibroids are causing excessive bleeding, discomfort or bladder problems, treatment usually isn't necessary.
Myomectomy is an operation to remove fibroids while preserving the uterus. For women who want to have children in the future, myomectomy is the treatment option.
Women above forty years or those who have completed their family need Hysterectomy which is a surgical procedure in which the uterus is removed either Laparoscopy or by open surgery.
So if you are already experiencing symptoms like pelvic pain and cramping, excessive bleeding during your menses, it’s time to go for a gynaecological check-up.
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