Many women suffer from having uterine fibroids. These are benign growths that occur in the uterus and can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes women might not even have any symptoms as a result of them and can carry on with normal life without any impact, but some women are more strongly affected.
Fibroids are benign tumours that most commonly occur in women of childbearing age. They are located on the smooth uterine wall and you can get one growth or a group of them growing together. Here is a look at why they happen and possible treatments for them.
What Causes Fibroid Tumors?
There are several factors in the development of fibroids though one exact reason has not been found. These factors include;
• The use of growth hormones
• Sexual abuse (several papers have been written including from Boston University School of Medicine that have found that women with a history of physical and sexual abuse are more likely to develop fibroids when they are older).
• Levels of progesterone and estrogen
• A deficiency in Vitamin D
• Early menstruation
• Not having had any children
What do the symptoms look like?
As mentioned a lot of women do not have any symptoms but should they develop they include;
- Changes in their cycle of menstruation
- Leg and back pain
- Difficulties with passing urine
- Pelvic discomfort and pain
- Unable to conceive
- Weight gain
Potential treatment options with medications and surgery
It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of fibroids. They will tell you that fibroids are benign tumours and that there are treatments available. They will likely want to observe them to make sure they are not turning cancerous though.
Treatments range between patients depending on their symptoms and general health. Some might be given birth control pills for example to help control their menstrual cycle. Some might get anti-inflammatory medications and some pain medications.
For more serious cases or concerns of the fibroids becoming cancerous, there is the option of surgery. There are a few procedures that can happen. A Myomectomy for example is the removal of just the fibroids. There is also a uterine artery embolism where the flow of blood to the fibroid is clotted to shrink the tumor.
At the other end of surgery options, the most serious and impactful will entail having a hysterectomy. When a woman has no uterus then uterine fibroids are not able to thrive. This would mean they would no longer be able to have children and is a big decision to make.
Whether you are more at risk of fibroids because of family history, stress, sexual abuse when you were younger or some other reason there are several options when it comes to dealing with them. Some women also have some success with alternative treatment options so that maybe something you want to look further into.