Dr. Ramnik Sabharwal

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Uterine Fibroids: Everything you need to know

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine Fibroids are the most common non cancerous tumor of a woman's uterus. The uterine fibroids can develop within the uterine wall or attach itself to it. Many women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives. These tumors can be single or grow in clusters. These tumors are common in about 50% of women and is a leading cause for the removal of the uterus. These aren't associated with the development of uterine cancer. In extreme cases, multiple fibroids can expand the uterus extensively leading to the surgery.

What causes uterine fibroids?

While it is not clearly known what are the ,causes of fibroids, it is believed that each tumor multiplies because of the influence of estrogen. But the most common factors pointed towards are:

  • Genetic changes
  • Hormones
  • Other growth factors

    What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

    The degree of variations of symptoms in women differ. Some have no specific symptoms, some have very mild symptoms and some have severe, disruptive symptoms. The common symptoms of uterine fibroids maybe:

  • Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
  • Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Pelvic pain (caused as the tumor presses on pelvic organs)
  • Frequent urination
  • Low back pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • A firm mass, often located near the middle of the pelvis, which can be felt by the physician In some cases, the heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, can lead to iron-deficiency known as anemia, which also requires treatment.

    How is it diagnosed?

    The diagnostic procedure for uterine fibroids include:

  • X-ray
  • Transvaginal ultrasound (also called ultrasonography)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Blood test (to check for iron-deficiency anemia if heavy bleeding is caused by the tumor).

    Treatment for Uterine Fibroids?

    Most fibroids stop growing or may even shrink as a woman approaches menopause. However treatment depends upon certain factors that are:

  • Overall health and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Opinion or preference
  • Desire for pregnancy Generally, the treatment for Uterine Fibroids include:
  • Hysterectomy
  • Conservative surgical therapy
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists)
  • Anti-hormonal agents
  • Uterine artery embolization
  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers

    Prevention for fibroids:

    By making healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a normal weight and eating fruits and vegetables, may decrease the risk of fibroids. Routine health visits to a physician may allow for early detection of fibroids.

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    Copyright © 2018 Dr. Ramnik.