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What are Fibroids? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years.

Fibroids:

Fibroids aren't associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer. About 20 percent to 80 percent of women develop these noncancerous tumours by the time they reach age 50. These are most common in women in their 40s and early 50s.

These can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them in the uterus. They can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a watermelon. The growth patterns of uterine tumours vary — they may grow slowly or rapidly, or they may remain the same size. In unusual cases, they can become very large. Many non-cancerous tumors that have been present during pregnancy shrink or disappear after pregnancy, as the uterus goes back to a normal size.

Symptoms, Cause And Treatment:

Not all women will have symptoms.

Symptoms may include

  • Heavy periods
  • Cramping
  • Painful sex
  • Pelvic pressure or pain
  • Constipation
  • A backache or leg pains and
  • An urge to urinate.

Doctors don't know the cause of this, but research and clinical experience point to these factors: Genetic changes, Hormones, Other growth factors.

There's no single best approach to uterine fibroid treatment — many treatment options exist.
Medications for uterine tumours target hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle, treating symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure. They don't eliminate this but may shrink them.

When these tumors grow on the outside of the uterus, you may become aware of a mass on your abdomen. Lying down and placing a hot pack or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen may lessen pain. Apply the hot packs several times a day.

Consult your Obstetrician or Gynaecologist if you have:

• Pelvic pain that doesn't go away
• Overly heavy or painful periods
• Spotting or bleeding between periods
• Pain consistently with intercourse
• Enlarged uterus and abdomen
• Difficulty emptying your bladder

During Pregnancy:

Women who have tumors are more likely to have problems during pregnancy and delivery. Most women with these tumors have normal pregnancies. The most common problems are:

• Cesarean section.
• Baby is breech.
• Labour fails to progress.
• Placental abruption.
• Preterm delivery.

Talk to your obstetrician if you have fibroids and become pregnant. All obstetricians have experience dealing with fibroid and pregnancy.


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