Fibroids are small growths that can develop in and around the womb. Although the growths are not cancerous, they can still cause pain and other symptoms.
Treatment can relieve your symptoms and prevent complications such as fertility problems. It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing menstrual problems or other symptoms that could be caused by fibroids, in order to avoid these complications.
What Causes Fibroids?
Fibroids are growths of fibrous tissue and muscle that form in on around the uterus. Although we do not fully understand why some women are affected by fibroids, we do know that:
- The condition seems to be related to the female hormone oestrogen.
- Fibroids often shrink after the menopause when the levels of this hormone fall.
- You are also more likely to develop fibroids if you are overweight or of African-Caribbean origin.
- The symptoms usually appear between the age of 30 and 50, although they can develop at any point during the reproductive years.
Symptoms of Fibroids
You might not be aware of any symptoms if you have small fibroids, but if the growths become large enough they can start to cause problems. Possible symptoms of fibroids include:
- Heavy periods
- Painful periods
- Abdominal or lower back pain
- Discomfort during sex
- A need to urinate more frequently.
If you notice symptoms that could be caused by fibroids, you should see a gynaecologist. The doctor may need to:
- Ask about your symptoms
- Perform a pelvic exam to check for fibroids and rule out other potential causes.
- Perform an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis of fibroids. It should be possible to see the growths in your uterus on the scan.
- Arrange a hysteroscopy or laparoscopy to examine the womb. A sample or biopsy of the growths may be taken during these procedures to confirm that the growths are fibroids and rule out cancer.
Since fibroids don’t always cause symptoms, you might not be aware of them until you have a gynaecological check up or scan for another reason. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, it can be important to get the right treatment.
Treatments for Fibroids
It isn’t always necessary to treat fibroids immediately. As long as they aren’t causing any symptoms, it may be possible to wait and see if they go away by themselves. Fibroids will often shrink in time, especially after the menopause. However, in some cases it may be necessary to treat the fibroids with:
- Medication to relieve your symptoms
- Medication to reduce the size of the fibroids.
- If the medication doesn’t work, our specialists may suggest surgical removal of the fibroids.
Fibroids can sometimes affect your fertility or cause problems during pregnancy. The impact depends on the size and location of the growths. Fibroids could block eggs from reaching the uterus or prevent embryos from attaching to the womb lining. If you are hoping to have children in the future, this will need to be considered in the treatment approach.
If you are experiencing symptoms that could be caused by fibroids or your doctor has recommend that you see a specialist, you can arrange a gynaecological consultation. Lotus Klinik specialists are leading gynaecologist with many years of experience treating fibroids and will provide the highest quality care. Simply contact the clinic by phone or fill in the online form to request an appointment or to arrange a telephone consultation.