wellbeing

Watch out for fibroids

Watch out for fibroids

Uterine fibroids - non-cancerous growths in the uterus that develop from muscular tissue - are quite common.

Studies point out that one in five women may have fibroids in their childbearing years. While cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, their growth has been linked to the hormone estrogen.

A majority of women may not even be aware of their existence because
often fibroids do not cause any symptoms. Some of them are very tiny, while others grow into very large rubbery masses of muscular tissue, weighing a few kilos!

In some women, multiple fibroids can fill up the womb, causing heaviness and discomfort. It is only when the condition starts interfering with day-to-day life or threatens to cause infertility that doctors may advise intervention in the form of treatment.

Symptoms

Bleeding between periods

Heavy menstrual bleeding, with blood clots

Prolonged periods

Frequent urination

Sensation of fullness or pressure in lower abdomen

Pain during intercourseTreatment

Drugs and hormone therapy, which can help shrink the fibroids

Uterine artery embolisation, which stops the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink and die

Myomectomy that removes the fibroids, while preserving fertility  

Hysterectomy, if the fibroids produce harmful symptoms and other treatment options fail  

(The writer is a fertility specialist at Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore)

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