Female reproductive system is a very complicated mechanism, which may undergo numerous changes due to hormonal fluctuations, environmental factors and aging processes.
It’s not uncommon that even slight changes in your overall health trigger significant problems in your reproductive organs.
This benign overgrowth, which is also called leiomyoma or myoma, usually appears in women during childbearing years.
These tumors grow from the muscle layer of the womb, varying widely in size from just a few centimeters to the size of apple.
Fibroids may sit inside the muscular wall (intramural fibroids) or expand beyond it, growing into the surrounding tissues (subserosal fibroid). This last form may actually become really large and develop a stem.
If myoma invades into the uterine cavity, it is called submucosal fibroid.
It’s completely possible that this benign tumor grows in the cervix of the womb – narrow canal, which connects uterus with the vagina.
Nowadays uterine fibroids have become very widespread problem for American women. That’s why it’s really important to be well-informed about this issue.
Let’s get to know more about leiomyoma.
Fact #1: it’s not actually a cancer. In vast majority of cases, fibroids don’t contain abnormal malignant cells. However if the tumor grows rapidly, it’s worth watching it carefully. Uterine cancer is a rare condition that occurs in less than 1% of cases and looks like fast-growing fibroid.
Fact #2: nobody knows exactly, why do uterine fibroids appear. The reason may be about fluctuations in estrogen levels, which is especially high in pregnant women and those, who use oral contraceptives. Specialists say that family history plays great role too.
Fact #3: African American women are much more likely to develop myoma. In addition to higher rate of incidence, they were also found to get fibroids in younger age.
Fact #4: in the majority of cases fibroids don’t cause any symptoms. Women often get diagnosis during routine pelvic examination, or when have ultrasound test for another reason.
Fact #5: the most frequent complaint is heavy bleeding. Approximately one in three women with myoma experience symptoms. And the most common sign is prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding and spotting between periods. This may be accompanied by pressure and discomfort in the lower abdomen, pain during intercourses, increased urge to urinate, constipation and severe menstrual cramps.
Fact #6: diet and lifestyle play a role too. It was found that taking alcohol, red meat and caffeinated products regularly can potentially boost risks for uterine fibroid. Women, who are overweight or obese have higher chances to get this tumor.
Fact #7: even if you have fibroid, you may not require any treatment, if don’t have any symptoms, and your myoma doesn’t grow rapidly.
Fact #8: you can still get pregnant. Even though having uterine fibroid increases risks for complications, it’s completely possible to carry full-term pregnancy and give a birth to healthy baby. Everything depends on location and size of the tumor.
Fact #9: if your doctor decides that you need treatment, it’s not necessarily about surgery. The first-line treatment includes gonadotropin-releasing hormone and drugs that inhibit hormone progesterone. Endometrial ablation, myomectomy, uterine fibroid embolization and hysterectomy are surgical options, used to get rid of fibroid.