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It is very common for women to have heavy and painful periods or have a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. Although, it may not sound very alarming these could be the symptoms of uterine fibroids. These are the most common types of benign tumours found in women. The fibroids are basically some tissues and muscle cells that grow within the uterus, outside the uterus, or along the wall of the uterus. The fibroids are usually benign and asymptomatic and do not require any treatment unless they cause problems.
Know the causes
Though the exact cause of fibroid formation is not known, it is believed that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone have a role to play in their formation. Fibroids are formed only when a woman is producing these hormones and they are not seen in women in non-reproductive age i.e. before starting of menses or after stoppage of menses (menopause). If fibroids are persisting even after menopause or especially if increasing in size then it is an alarming sign. Such a fibroid needs to be taken care of immediately.
What are the symptoms?
Fibroids often remain quiet for long periods of time. They cause nonspecific symptoms in the pelvis and abdomen including:
- Fullness in the abdomen
- Low back pain
- Irregular menstruation
- Cramping with menstruation
- Painful sex
- Increased urgency to urinate
- Anemia, leading to tiredness and weakness
- Infertility Diagnosing the fibroids
When these symptoms are recurrent, it is good to confirm the diagnosis. This can happen with a pelvic exam followed by ultrasound scanning to confirm the size and location of the fibroids. A blood test also may be done to confirm anemia, which is common due to heavy periods.
Management of fibroids can range from doing nothing to periodic monitoring to surgical removal.
- If pain and heavy bleeding are the only symptoms, then pain killers like ibuprofen should suffice for symptomatic relief. Anemia, if severe, may require iron supplementation.
- Embolization is an option which shrinks the fibroid, at the same time preserving the uterus. The blood flow to the fibroid is cut off, thereby preventing its further growth. It takes about 1 to 3 hours and requires some bed rest after the procedure. There could be some pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding, which will gradually subside. The fibroids may grow back, but the benefits of keeping the uterus are definitely there. This is suitable in case of single fibroid with specific blood supply.
- The next surgical option is myomectomy, where the portion of the uterus which contains the fibroid alone is removed. This is done in women who still wish to get pregnant and in women who would like to retain the uterus. This can also be achieved laparoscopically( key hole surgery). In such cases, fibroids are cut into small pieces and then removed from the body. This procedure should be done by a doctor specialised in advanced gynecological endoscopy as all this cutting should be done in a bag to avoid any spillage of cells inside the abdominal cavity. This procedure is known as Laparoscopic Myomectomy with In-bag Moecellation.
- In women who have crossed their pregnancy phase, hysterectomy or complete removal of the uterus is advised. In these women, the bleeding and pain may not have subsided even after years of treatment with hormones. The growing fibroids could be pressing on the adjacent organs, causing pressure. This is the only definitive treatment and should be done in women have completed their family and don’t desire to be pregnant.
- Myomectomy and hysterectomy may be done laparoscopically or with an open method depending on the overall health, the size and location of the fibroids in the uterus.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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My mother is suffering from disc extrusion in L5, is surgery necessary? Or something other will be helpful.
What type of surgery required for DISC PROLAPSE (herniated disc. Please kindly help me. I am suffering with it. How much it costs.Please suggest me for that.
Of all cancer types that affect the female population, breast cancer is the most common one. Statistics show that above 1 in 8 women in the USA are likely to develop breast cancer (invasive type, which is often severe). Changing lifestyles including prolonged use of birth control, smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of physical activity, dietary changes, etc., have led to an increased incidence. As these are here to stay, the only way is to prevent.
The likelihood of developing breast cancer is determined by risk factors. Some of these risk factors cannot be changed. For instance, age, ethnicity, and history of familial breast cancer. However, there are others, which can be acted upon or modified to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
Some of the preventable risk factors are as follows:
- Nicotine abuse: Quitting smoking has multiple benefits for a woman, and one major benefit is the reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Other benefits include reduced incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and other cancers.
- Hormone replacement therapy: To the extent possible, avoid prolonged use of birth control pills or hormones for other treatment purposes. In addition to using non-hormonal methods, if not avoidable, constantly monitoring hormone levels is very important. Birth control pills should especially be avoided by women over 35 years of age who smoke. The risk associated with developing cancer reduces as soon as the hormone supplement is stopped.
- Weight Management: One of the major risk factors is obesity, and in people with other non-alterable risk factors, it is best to work on weight management from an early age. Talk to your doctor about your ideal BMI and ensure this is maintained.
- Physical Activity: Regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes per day, in addition to strength training will help in keeping the body agile and managing weight. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Breastfeeding: Studies have shown that breastfeeding has protective effect against breast cancer; longer a baby is breast fed, greater is the protective benefit.
- Screening: Even if not completely preventable, early detection of breast cancer is very important. This will help in less severe treatment and better prognosis. Recommended ages for mammography are as follows:
- In the age of 40 to 44, an annual mammogram is advised along with a discussion with the doctor on the risks.
- An annual mammogram for all women in the age of 45 – 54 is important as most women enter menopause by this time. This needs to be continued annually, as self-breast exams alone cannot detect cancer, thus it is a good practice and anything abnormal will not go undetected.
- These will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, help in early detection, and improve prognosis.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Please tell me what can I do in slip disk problem please explain preventive & treatment methods without using drugs because I need not anymore drugs because I already taken lots of drugs.
I am 33 years old my weight 69 kgs .l will take medicine to my disc problem before take medicine my weight 60 how to weight loss give me suggestion?
Ayurveda is a form of medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years and has many effective cure for some of the most complex diseases. Cancer, in this day and age, is one such complex disease and its incidence is increasing rapidly. It is always recommended to consult a Ayurveda specialist for severe cancer. Some of the common ingredients for treatment of uterine cancer through Ayurveda are mentioned here.
- Turmeric: Already a staple spice in many Indian dishes, turmeric as a herb in raw form and as a spice in powdered form, is touted the new wonder herb all across the world. It has been used as a traditional healing herb in India since ages. It has also been seen to be a very effective anti-inflammatory agent and thus it is very effective in stopping the growth of cancer cells.
- Green tea from the Camellia Sinensis plant: Green tea has been known to be effective in treating multiple types of cancer, aid in weight loss and also facilitate detoxification. Regular consumption of green tea from the Camellia Sinensis plant is known to fight the growth of cancer cells within the body; thus is a very effective in treating uterine cancer as well.
- Ashwagandha: This herb is not only used in Ayurveda, but has also been adopted by homeopathy as conventional medicine to make extracts. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it can adapt to the requirements of the body and then make the changes to provide support to the necessary areas. It is also very good at preventing the growth of cancer cells.
- Garlic: This spice is known to be good for multiple forms of cancer as it contains allicin, which is being hailed as one of the best fighters of inflammatory diseases. It also contains other types of phytochemicals and thus helps in detoxifying the body. It is very effective in fighting cancer cells and can arrest the growth of cancer within the body.
- Ginger: Ginger is extremely effective in the treatment of many ailments, if consumed regularly in controlled amounts. It has been known to be very effective in the treatment of colon cancer. Due to its properties, it is also known to be effective in the prevention of uterine and many other forms of cancer.
Ayurveda, an enigmatic yet enthralling science offers numerous treatment methods for uterine cancer. Here are a few:
- Matra Basti: Matra Basti is a special treatment in traditional ayurveda for chronic constipation, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and various neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dystrophy and atrophy of nerves and muscle. In this treatment, certain herbal oils and herbal extracts are applied through the rectum on a daily basis. Matra Vasti has a lubricating, balancing, nourishing, strengthening and pacifying effect. It also works as rejuvenator, immune-modulator and nutrient and subdues elevated vata dosha. The treatment lasts for a period of 3 to 7 days.
- Pichu Dharanam for Soothing at Advance Stages of Uterine Cancer: It is a special treatment modality in Ayurveda where sterile medicated cotton swab is kept inside the vagina for a specific period of time. This comes under local treatment modalities specific to gynaecological diseases in females and is also done in ante natal care. Pichu means “cotton ball”. Yoni pichu is the application of a sterile cotton swab soaked in medicated oil or ghee in the vagina.
- Abhyanham: Abhyanga is a form of Ayurvedic medicine that involves massage of the body with large amounts of warm oil. It’s a complete body massage and really effective. The Abhyangam massage therapy is very beneficial and prevents degeneration and ceases the aging process. This therapy needs more positions to massage and comparing to other massage therapy, Abhyangam is very special. It usually involves oils prepared with specialized Ayurvedic herbs and essential oils for lymph drainage, detox, and relaxation. It has seven positions and it treats the whole body. It assures new healthy physical changes.
- Nasyam: Nasyam or errhine therapy is an Ayurvedic treatment excellent remedy for chronic sinusuitis, headache, throat diseases, epilepsy, catarrh, migraine, voice constraint, eye diseases and cervical spondylitis. In Ayurveda, the application of medical oils or powders through the nostrils is called Nasya. It is said in classical texts that the nostrils are the doorway to the brain. Nasya is an important method of treatment for illnesses of the cranial region. Nasya treatment - the forehead and neck regions of the patient are gently massaged with a suitable oil to induce sweating. Thereafter the patient is made to lie down on his back with his head bent slightly back. Warm oil is then dripped into both nostrils which the patient draws in.
Noncancerous growths of the muscle tissue surrounding the uterus are known as uterine fibroids. This is a common disease which about 70 to 80% of women contract by the time they are 50 years of age. The uterine fibroids can sometimes be very big and cause heavy periods as well as severe abdominal pain while at other times, uterine fibroids give no signs or symptoms whatsoever and go away on their own. This is why it is crucial to know what type of uterine fibroids you have and how to diagnose them. Here are the types of uterine fibroids and how to diagnose them;
There are three main types of uterine fibroids. They are;
- Intramural fibroids: The most common type of uterine fibroids are intramural fibroids. They typically appear in the endometrium and may grow larger which results in your womb getting stretched.
- Subserosal fibroids: Subserosal fibroids are called so because they form on the serosa. The serosa is the outside of your uterus. Sometimes, Subserosal fibroids may grow so large that your uterus appears bigger on one side.
- Pedunculated fibroids: Pedunculated fibroids tumors are basically Subserosal fibroids with a stem. A base which supports the tumor is called the stem.
There are a number of tests done to diagnose uterine fibroids. They are;
- Pelvic exam: A pelvic exam is a thorough inspection of a woman’s pelvic area. The organs which are in the pelvic area include the cervix, ovaries, uterus and vagina. Normally, this and the next test in this article are enough to diagnose uterine fibroids.
- Medical history: The history of your periods as well as the other symptoms you have will often be enough to diagnose the uterine fibroids. If your medical history is not enough, then you might need to undergo a pelvic exam.
- Pelvic ultrasound: An ultrasound is when high-intensity sound waves are used to produce images of the pelvic area. This is only done when a pelvic exam and your medical history are not enough to diagnose uterine fibroids. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a general surgeon.
Fibroid tumour is the abnormal cell growth in the uterus and they are mostly benign. Fibroids usually affect women in the age bracket of 30 - 40. Fibroid tumours are of three types, depending on their location:
- Submucosal fibroids: The tumour develops under the lining of the uterus
- Intramural fibroids: The growth is found amongst the muscles in the wall of the uterus
- Subserosal fibroids: The growth develops on the wall of the uterus right in the pelvic cavity
Causes behind it
The exact cause of fibroids in not known clearly. But certain factors have been discovered that might influence their formation. These factors include:
- Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen are the hormones responsible for recreating the uterine lining during every menstrual cycle. These hormones might trigger the formation of tumour.
- Family history: If any member in your family; your mother, grandmother or sister has/had fibroids in their uterus, you may also develop it.
- Pregnancy: Your body produces excessive progesterone and estrogen when you are pregnant, which may cause an increase in the size of a pre-existing small fibroid. Myomectomy can be done by giving incision on the abdomen or by laparoscopy depending on the size and location of the fibroids.
Signs You are suffering from it
- Heavy bleeding along with blood clots during or between your periods
- Lower back or pelvic pain
- Elevated menstrual cramping
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sex
- Longer than normal periods
- Bloating or pressure in lower abdomen
- Enlargement or swelling of the abdomen
How it can be treated?
Your doctor will formulate the right treatment depending on your age, the mass of the fibroids and your overall health. Your doctor may choose a combination of treatment to cure your fibroids, and they include:
- Medication: Gonadotropin releasing hormones (GnRH) agonists, birth control pills and ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory medicine) are prescribed. GnRH agonists reduce the level of progesterone and estrogen in your uterus.
- Surgery: Myomectomy and hysterectomy are two common surgical procedures to treat fibroids. Myomectomy is performed by removing the fibroids only by making an incision on the abdomen. But hysterectomy completely removes the uterus. The latter is reserved for serious cases.
- Non-invasive surgery: Forced ultrasound surgery, myolysis (shrinking fibroids with laser or electric current), cryomyolysis (fibroids are frozen) and endometrial ablation (an instrument uses heat, hot water, microwaves or electric current to destroy fibroids) are some non-invasive surgical procedures. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.