The month of JULY has been designated as Fibroids Awareness Month in an effort to bring attention to a common health problem among pregnant women. Benign uterine tumors occur in the cavity, the muscle wall, or the surface of the organ, and affect anywhere from 60% to 80% of women, especially Black women. Uterine fibroids may be as little as a seed or as large as a melon.
Not All Women Who Have Fibroids Are Affected
Most women don’t even know they have fibroids, and its etiology is a mystery. On the other hand, some research suggests that the female hormone estrogen may have a role in promoting fibroid development.
There are no symptoms of fibroids in some women, therefore they go undiagnosed. It is during a pelvic exam that a fibroid is often first detected. Several examinations may help verify a fibroid diagnosis:
- Pelvic ultrasound — This radiology examination uses wand-like equipment to inspect the uterus and other pelvic organs more closely. The device creates a pelvic organ picture using sound waves.
- Hysterosalpingogram — A dye is injected into your uterus and fallopian tubes during this X-ray treatment.
- Hysteroscopy — A telescope-like tool is introduced via the vagina into the uterus. This enables the doctor to check for uterine abnormalities.
- Laparoscopy — A laparoscope is introduced via a tiny incision in the belly to examine the abdomen.
Most Common Symptoms Of Fibroids
When fibroids manifest, they may cause a variety of symptoms:
- Pelvic discomfort
- Bleeding heavy
- Between-cycle bleeding
- Urinating often
- Abdominal swelling
- Intercourse or menstrual back discomfort
- Fatigue from heavy periods and bleeding
- If fibroids restrict fallopian tubes, infertility.
Family History & Aging
A higher risk of fibroids is associated with age, a diet high in refined carbohydrates, alcohol, obesity, and hormonal changes. Growth of fibroids is influenced by estrogen and progesterone, and Black women tend to have larger fibroids than non-Black women. Since fibroid tumors are thought to run in families, close female relatives should have regular tests.
Pregnancy & Fibroids
In pregnancy, because they make it difficult for the baby to change positions, fibroids may lead to preterm labor and breech births. This condition, known as placenta previa, is a rare but serious consequence of uterine fibroids. While many pregnant women have no problems due to their fibroids, between 10 and 30 percent of those who do face difficulties.
The risk of spontaneous miscarriage was increased by having many fibroids, and it was doubled for women who had fibroids from the start (14%).
The risk of postpartum bleeding increases by 60% in early pregnancy if the placenta is situated near the fibroid, but falls to 9% if the fibroid is not near the placenta. Fibroids induce postpartum bleeding. While around one-third of all fibroids form during the first trimester, the vast majority do not. Estrogen, the hormone that causes fibroids, is significantly elevated during pregnancy.
Symptoms, size, and reproductive status all play a role in how fibroids are treated. Modest symptoms may respond to lifestyle changes including diet and exercise, as well as natural herbal remedies.
However, powerful painkillers and hormone medications may be necessary for women with