A study has revealed that by the age of 50, approximately 80% of women will have experienced fibroids. While in some cases they don’t present any symptoms, for others they can prove debilitating.
Here, we’ll look at this unspoken disease affecting mid-life women and why it’s important to seek treatment if you have them.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids develop within the uterus and they’re classified as non-cancerous tumours. The cause of the condition is unknown, though they do affect the majority of women at some point throughout their lifetime.
Fibroids can vary in size and larger ones can cause more significant symptoms. They can also be referred to as myomas, fibromas and leiomyomas. Although the risk of them leading to infertility is rare, they can lead to a hysterectomy. It is thought that in the US there are 200,000 hysterectomies carried out due to fibroids. They also increase the risk of needing a C-section delivery.
Understanding the different types
Did you know that there are different types of fibroids you can develop too? The type of fibroid you’re suffering with will depend upon where it has developed.
The most common type is the Intramural fibroid. It develops on the muscular wall and they have the potential to grow large enough to stretch the womb. If the fibroid develops on the outside of the uterus, it’s known as a Subserosal fibroid. This type can cause the womb to grow larger on one side.
If you do develop the Subserosal type, it can also lead to Pedunculated fibroids. These occur when a stem grows from a Subserosal fibroid. Then finally, there are the Submuscular fibroids. These develop in the centre of the mid muscle layer of the uterus. They tend to be the lesser common types you can suffer with.
What symptoms do they produce?
The symptoms of fibroids differ depending upon the type and size of the tumour. Some women experience no symptoms at all, while others have severe symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pain.
The most common symptoms to watch out for include:
- Frequent urination
- Longer, heavier and more painful menstruation
- Pain in the lower back or pelvis
- Pain during intercourse
- Swelling of the abdomen
If you have any of these symptoms and suspect it may be fibroid related, it’s important to seek a diagnosis.
Fibroids diagnosis and treatment
A gynaecologist can diagnose fibroids via a pelvic scan. This scan is used to detect the fibroids, as well as establish their size and position. You may also need to undergo an ultrasound scan and a pelvic MRI.
Once the fibroids have been assessed, a treatment plan can be produced. This can include home remedies such as yoga, acupuncture and heat packs. It could also include medication, and in severe cases, surgery may be recommended. There are also newer, less invasive treatments available.
If you’re concerned you may have fibroids, it’s important to seek a fibroids diagnosis. Booking a consultation with a gynaecologist or women’s health specialist will help you to determine the type and size of the fibroids, following the best course of treatment to eliminate them. Call 07835 736627 to arrange an appointment at SureScan.