Fibroids are also known as any of the following; leiomyomas, myomas, uterine myomas, and fibromas. They are abnormal growths that develop in a woman’s uterus. These tumors are usually large, which always results in abdominal pain and heavy flow in women. In some cases, there may be no sign or symptom at all. However, the growths are typically noncancerous. Here are the things you should know about fibroids; types, causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What Are the Different Types of Fibroids?
According to a study on Women’s Health, up to 80% of women have fibroids at the age of 50. However, because there are no symptoms, most women never know they have fibroids. The type of fibroids developed by a woman is largely dependent on their location in the uterus.
These fibroids are usually formed on the outside of the uterus, which is known as a serosa. In some cases, they may grow large enough to make the womb look or appear bigger on one side.
The subserosa tumors earlier discussed, can develop a stem (usually a slender base that supports the tumor). When this happens, they are referred to as pedunculated fibroids.
Submucosal fibroids develop in the middle muscle layer (or myometrium) of the uterus. They are not always as common as the other types.
What Causes Fibroids?
Although it is unclear why fibroids develop, several factors may influence their formation.
The ovary produces hormones which include Estrogen and Progesterone. These hormones cause the lining of the uterine to regenerate during each menstrual cycle, which may stimulate the growth of fibroids.
Fibroids may run in one’s family. In cases like this, if one’s grandmother, mother, or sister has a history of this condition, there is a possibility that one may develop it as well.
The fact that pregnancy increases the production of estrogen and progesterone in the body, is enough reason for the development of fibroids. In other words, fibroids may develop and even grow rapidly while one is pregnant.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibroids?
There is no particular symptom of fibroids. The symptoms are largely dependent on the number of tumors, as well as the location and size of the tumors. For instance, a person with submucosal fibroids may experience heavy menstrual bleeding and also have trouble conceiving.
Also, there may be no sigh or symptoms if the tumor is very small. The same thing applies to people who are going through menopause. Fibroids usually shrink during and after menopause. Actually, this is because women who undergo menopause, experience a drop in their levels of estrogen and progesterone, which are hormones that normally stimulate the growth of fibroids. Other symptoms may include; heaving bleeding during periods, pain in the pelvis (or lower back), increased urination, pain during intercourse, pressure or fullness in the lower abdomen, swelling or enlargement of the abdomen.
How Are Fibroids Treated?
Fortunately, fibroids can be treated. Doctors have developed a treatment plan based on one’s age, size of fibroids, and overall health.
Doctors may prescribe medications to regulate your hormone levels. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, like leuprolide (Lupron), cause the estrogen and progesterone levels to drop. This eventually stops menstruation and shrinkage of fibroids.
Surgery that will help remove very large or multiple growths may be performed. This is usually known as myomectomy. Performing an abdominal myomectomy involves making a large incision in the abdomen, to access the uterus and remove the fibroids. You can also perform laparoscopic surgery. However, fibroids may grow back after surgery. Dietary changes from time to time may help as well. Is applies advisable to avoid meats and foods with high calories? You can opt for foods in high flavonoids, green vegetables, green tea, and cold-water fish (tuna, salmon).
Also, if your condition worsens, or if treatments don’t work anymore, your physician may perform a hysterectomy. This, however, means that you won’t be able to bear children in the future.
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments
Some home remedies and natural treatments may have a positive effect on fibroids. They include; yoga practice, acupuncture, and massage. Also, Gui Zhi Fu Ling Tang (GFLT) is a traditional Chinese medicine that might work well for fibroids.