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Uterine Fibroids - 6 Symptoms

Dr. Tripti Raheja 87% (10 ratings)
M.R.C.O.G. (LONDON) Gold Medalist, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi  •  22 years experience
Uterine Fibroids - 6 Symptoms

Uterine fibroids are referred to as benign, abnormal growths which tend to develop in the uterine walls of a woman. The size of such growths can range from a few centimeters to even excess of a few inches. As such, they can cause the uterus to increase to the size of a five month pregnancy. Although, the symptoms of fibroids are not always apparent, they often cause heavy bleeding and pain in women. A recent research concluded that around 60 to 75 percent women contract such fibroids by the age of 50, at least once in their life.

Depending on the site of formation, uterine fibroids are distinguished into different types. Intramural fibroids in the lining of the uterus and subserosal fibroids which develop outside the uterus are the most commonly observed fibroids.

What causes Uterine Fibroids?
Although, the exact reason for the formation of fibroids are obscure, medical professionals have determined certain factors that may affect their formation. Some of them are:

  1. Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen, produced by the ovaries regenerate the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle and trigger the growth of fibroids.
  2. Family history: If you have had a family history of uterine fibroids, then you are likely to develop the condition yourself as well.
  3. Pregnancy: The production of progesterone and estrogen increases during pregnancy which increases the likelihood of fibroids.

What are the signs of the condition?

Many women who have fibroids don't have any symptoms. In those that do, symptoms can be influenced by the location, size and number of fibroids. In women who have symptoms, the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include:

  1. Heavy bleeding and blood clots during periods
  2. Pain in the pelvis
  3. Frequent menstrual cramps
  4. Pressure and pain in the lower abdomen
  5. Swelling in the abdomen
  6. Pain while intercourse

Rarely, a fibroid can cause acute pain when it outgrows its blood supply, and begins to die.

Fibroids are generally classified by their location. Intramural fibroids grow within the muscular uterine wall. Submucosal fibroids bulge into the uterine cavity. Subserosal fibroids project to the outside of the uterus.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have:

Seek prompt medical care if you have severe vaginal bleeding or sharp pelvic pain that comes on suddenly.

What is the procedure of the treatment?
Ultrasound and pelvic MRI are common diagnostic procedures to check for uterine fibroids. After diagnosis, depending on your age, size of the fibroid and your comprehensive health, the doctor would prescribe you with appropriate medications. Only after medications prove futile, doctors opt for minimally invasive surgeries.

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