Uterine fibroids do not reflect any symptoms, they are found fortuitously during a routine pelvic examination. During the examination, your doctor may find some irregularities in the shape of the uterus, further concluding the existence of fibroids.
What causes uterine fibroids
The main cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but research and clinical experiments have pointed out a few possible factors:
- Change in genes
- Estrogen and progesterone may promote the growth
- Increased ECM (Extracellular matrix) in fibroids
- Insulin-like growth factors may affect the fibroid growth
Uterine fibroid symptoms
Fibroids symptoms are not usually seen and do not require any treatment other than observations by the doctor. There are 2 sizes of fibroids, small ones usually don’t show any symptoms, but the larger ones may show the following symptoms:
- Discomfort due to excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle
- Abnormal bleeding between periods
- Urinating frequently as fibroids put excessive pressure on the bladder
- Feeling full in your lower abdomen
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Feeling constipated all the time
- Low back discomfort
- Persistent vaginal discharge
- Difficulty in urinating and emptying the bladder
- Increased abdominal distention (enlargement)
Around the time of menopause, the hormone levels start to decline, and the symptoms of uterine fibroids also start to stabilise or eventually go away.
Uterine fibroids treatment
Treatment for fibroids depends on the size of the fibroids. Small fibroids do not require any treatment and can be left alone. Treatment for other fibroids is based on the following factors:
- Number of fibroids
- Size of fibroids
- Location of fibroids
- Chances of pregnancy
- Any desire for uterine preservation
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications
Medicines are given to manage the discomfort and pain caused due to fibroids.
- Iron supplements
If excessive bleeding leads to anaemia, the doctors may prescribe iron supplements.
- Birth control
Healthcare providers can give birth control pills to control heavy menstrual bleeding between periods.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists:
These are given through injections or nasal spray, and they work by shrinking your fibroids before the surgery to provide ease while removing the fibroids. There are chances that fibroids may return once you stop using them.
What happens if fibroids go untreated?
If left untreated, fibroids might get worse with time, and they can continue to grow in both size and number.
What does fibroids’ pain feel like?
Large fibroids may cause discomfort and leave the lower abdomen or pelvis feeling heavy.
What foods are bad for fibroids?
Avoid processed foods, table sugar, corn syrup, junk food (white bread, rice pasta, and flour), soda, and sugary drinks.