UTERINE FIBROIDS

Description

  • Noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years
  • They are not associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer
  • Fibroids range in size from seedlings,to bulky masses that can distort the uterus

Symptoms

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Menstrual periods lasting more than a week
  • Pelvic pressure or pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Constipation
  • Backache or leg pains
  • Pain during intercourse
  • A firm mass, often located near the middle of the pelvis

Causes

  • The exact cause is not known

Can be due to:

  • Genetic changes
  • Hormones
  • Insulin-like growth factors

Risk Factors

  • Women who are approaching menopause
  • Heredity
  • Environmental factors
  • Black women are more likely to have fibroids

Diagnostic Tests

  • Routine pelvic examination
  • Transvaginal ultrasound (also called ultrasonography)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Complete blood count (CBC) to check for anemia

Treatment

Medications:

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists
  • Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Tranexamic acid (Lysteda)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Noninvasive procedure:

  • MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS)

Minimally invasive procedures:

  • Uterine artery embolization
  • Myolysis
  • Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy
  • Hysteroscopic myomectomy
  • Endometrial ablation

Traditional surgical procedures:

  • Abdominal myomectomy
  • Hysterectomy

Prevention

  • Cannot be completely prevented
  • Maintain optimum weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Include lots of fresh fruits in the diet