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;
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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;
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Uterine fibroids, also referred to as uterine myomas) are non-cancerous tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus. As many as 20% to 50% women between the age group of 18 to 40 suffer from the condition, but not all cases warrant treatment.
It may be as tiny as a coin or it may grow to the size of a watermelon, making people think the lady is 6/7 months pregnant! There may be one big fibroid or several small ones.
Though the exact causes are not known, family history and hormonal imbalances are said to be the main causes for the same.
Types of Uterine Fibroids
The four types are:
If you find out that you have fibroids during an examination or if you visit a doctor with any of these symptoms, they will most likely ask for an ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which will confirm the type of fibroid and the extent of your problem. Treatment includes non-invasive-focused ultrasound surgery.
Treatment with Homeopathy:
One of the best advantages of choosing Homeopathy is that it works without side effects. It addresses the issue rather than the symptom. A surgical procedure mentioned in general treatment does remove the fibroids but there is no guarantee that they won't grow back as the underlying issue of hormonal imbalance remains.
During a clinical study of the effects of Homeopathy on fibroids, 85% patients showed improvement and 48% people had complete fibroid removal.
Treatment: There are medicines in Homeopathy that can treat uterine fibroids, cervical fibroids and help maintain normal hormonal balance in females.
Fibroids are a very common tumour which is seen in the female reproductive system. These are also known by the names of leiomyomas, or fibromas and are firm, compact tumours which are made out of muscle cells or fibrous connective tissues. It mostly affects the uterus and the area surrounding it. According to a study, it has been found that 25-50% of the women experience Fibroids during their reproductive age but not all of them need treatment.
Fibroids also appear during child bearing years as well but all of them are not large enough to be identified via diagnosis. In most of the cases, these Fibroids are non-cancerous but there are some exceptions as well. The size of this tumour may range differently according to the person.
Who is at risk for fibroid tumors?
Fibroids can occur in the reproductive system of any women but those of whom are approaching their menopause stages are at greater risk. This is because of their exposure to high levels of estrogen. It has been found that women who are obese or belong to the African-American category are also at a much greater risk than the other women. The reason for such an anomaly is still not known clearly.
Symptoms of Fibroids
There are several symptoms of Fibroids which need to be identified to prevent any kind of serious complications. The same are listed as below :
If the woman experiences heavy or prolonged menstrual periods.
There can be abnormal or irregular bleeding between menstrual periods.
Pain in the pelvic region because of the tumor presses on pelvic organs.
Frequent urination can also be experienced.
Women might experience low back pain.
Pain during intercourse is also common if the woman is suffering from Fibroids.
So these are the most common symptoms of Fibroids which can be experienced by most of the women.
Diagnosis of Fibroids
It is important that if you experience the symptoms we mentioned, you must immediately visit the doctor for a checkup. Here are the most common techniques which will help the doctor to check whether you have a Fibroid or not :
X-ray - It is the Electromagnetic energy used to get the images of bones and internal organs that will help to identify the tumour.
Ultrasonography - it is an ultrasound test done with the help of a small instrument, called a transducer, that is placed in the vagina.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Non-invasive procedure which produces a two- dimensional view of an internal organ or structure.
Hysterosalpingography - The X-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
So these are the different techniques which will help the doctors to identify the tumour.
If you have read the article till this point then you are now aware of the different information about Fibroids which will help you treat it the right way.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumours that develop within the uterus during a woman’s reproductive years when the levels of oestrogen hormone are high. These are usually seen developing between 16-50 years of age and affect nearly 30% of all women by the time they reach 35 years.
Types of Uterine Fibroids -
Based on the site of location in the womb, uterine fibroids are broadly classified into four types, as mentioned below –
• Intramural Fibroids – These are the most commonly found fibroids in the uterus. These are rooted in the muscular walls of the womb.
• Subserosal Fibroids – These types of fibroids extend beyond the walls of the womb, and develop within the adjacent tissue layers outside the uterus
• Submucosal Fibroids – These are found inside the uterine cavity
• Cervical Fibroids – These originate in the cervix or the neck of the womb
Ways to Diagnose Fibroids -
Uterine fibroids are usually asymptotic. This means they grow without revealing observable symptoms. Therefore, the only way to detect the condition is to undergo a complete diagnosis at the clinic.
The following methods and tests can help detect uterine fibroids in women –
• Routine pelvic examination
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI
• Hysteroscopy – a small device, which has a camera attached to its end, is used to examine the womb from inside. The doctor will insert the device through your vagina, and then into the womb through the cervix. He/she may take a biopsy of the same to detect potentially cancerous cells if needed.
• Laparoscopy – this involves making a tiny opening in the skin of your abdomen and inserting a tube with an attached light and camera through the abdominal wall layers. The camera goes deep into the abdominopelvic cavity to examine the outer walls of the womb, and the areas surrounding it.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment for uterine fibroids.
Treatment of uterine fibroids depends on the location and size of fibroids, as well as its symptoms. For example – if the fibroids are leading to heavy menstruation or severe lower back pain that may be affecting your quality of life, you will need to undergo the first line of treatment, which is medication.
• Medications – Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and birth control pills can help regulate ovulation cycle, thereby reducing bleeding and pain during periods.
• Levonorgestrel Intrauterine System – This is a plastic device placed inside the womb, which releases levonorgestrel hormone over a long period. This prevents the growth of the inside lining of the womb, which eases menstrual bleeding.
In case the symptoms are severe and extremely painstaking, you might have to go for surgery. The most commonly prescribed procedure is hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy refers to total or partial removal of the womb. The treatment is considered usually when you have large fibroids, which cause excessive bleeding. Complete hysterectomy can prevent uterine fibroids from recurring.
Although uterine fibroids are not cancerous, they can pose various complications, like infertility, internal bleeding, and DVT. Therefore, it is recommended that you lookout for symptoms of fibroids and get yourself diagnosed at the earliest.
The uterine fibroids are one of the most common gynecologic problems, with over 40-50% of women having them at some point in their life. The number and size of the fibroids, the age of onset, associated symptoms like dysfunctional bleeding and pelvic pain will determine the management of fibroid. The following is a series of management measures, starting from the most conservative to the most invasive.
1. Wait and watch: In women who are asymptomatic, it is best to watch them for the development of symptoms without any intervention. Also, in women nearing menopause, it is best to just watch the fibroids as they just shrink once menstruation ceases.
2. Medical therapy: In some women, menstrual cycles could be heavy or irregular and require hormonal replacement. They could also have occasional pain, and so may require painkillers.
3. Noninvasive procedure: MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery is when the women are inside the MRI scanner and an ultrasonic transducer is used for treatment. The exact location of the fibroids are identified and sound waves are used to destroy the fibroid. Done on an outpatient basis, it is safe and effective.
4. Minimally invasive procedures: Uterine artery embolization is where the arterial supply is cut off to reduce fibroid growth. Myolysis is where laparoscopically heat or cold waves are used to lyse off the fibroids. Endometrial ablation is where the uterine lining is destroyed through high-intensity heat or cold waves.
5. Invasive procedures: Abdominal or Laparoscopic myomectomy is where the fibroids are removed through an abdominal incision or keyhole surgery. If fibroids are extensive and completed family, hysterectomy is the choice of treatment. Given their high incidence, fibroids require management based on symptoms, age, and other considerations as discussed and decided between the patient and the doctor.