Fibroids are fairly common and mainly affect women between the ages of 16 - 50.
Fibroids are non cancerous growths and mainly affect women in their reproductive years. Many women can have them and not know, but fibroids can grow and as they increase in size they can cause pain and discomfort.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
Tummy bloating and discomfort
If a fibroid is particularly large it may make you feel bloated and cause pain in your stomach
Fibroids can give you a feeling of heaviness in your pelvis, particularly when you bend down or add an extra pressure to your front.
Heavy or painful periods
You may experience heavy periods (dysmenorrhoae), which includes bleeding through your sanitary product in a short period of time, have large blood clots or your period lasts longer than a week.
Lower back pain
One of the most common symptoms, Fibroids can push against the muscles and nerves in the lower back and cause pain.
More frequent urges to urinate
If a fibroid is pushing against your bladder than you may feel the need to urinate more often.
Changes to your bowel movements
Similar to the need to urinate more often, it a fibroid pushes against your bowel then you may find it difficult to have a bowel movement and become constipated.
Pain during intercourse
If fibroids push against your vagina or cervix then intercourse may be uncomfortable.
Difficulty getting pregnant
A fibroid may obstruct your fallopian tube which can prevent an egg being released. A fibroid may also make it harder for implantation to happen.
How do you diagnose fibroids?
We can check for fibroids with a pelvic examination or an internal ultrasound scan.
What causes fibroids?
It is unclear what causes fibroids, but factors can increase your risk of getting them such as being over weight, having a diet low in fruit and vegetables, having family history of fibroids and being on the contraceptive pill.
How are fibroids removed?
If you are nearing menopause then the fibroids will go away on their own. However, if you are younger the fibroids may grow and cause pain.
There is no medicine that will shrink a fibroid but you can take anti inflammatory medicine or progesterone to slow down the growth of the lining of your womb.
If these do not help, you may be offered a hysterectomy. This is the removal of your womb and is the most effective way to remove the growths.
If you want to have children in your future then a myomectomy can be considered, depending on the size of your fibroids. This is keyhole surgery to the uterus to remove the fibroids from the wall lining but it doesn't guarantee they won't return.
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