Nowadays the internet allows us to find any information we need, but this also comes with a dangerous side effect: you can’t be sure what is true and what is myth? Uterine fibroids is one of the conditions surrounded by misconceptions. One myth about this condition is that the tumors are cancerous or evolve into cancer; the truth is fibroids are non-cancerous formations which don’t put your life in danger.
According to specialists from fibroid treatment centers only 30% of all women who have fibroids suffer from a symptom, such as painful periods or complications during pregnancy. Fibroids are tissue and muscle that grow inside or outside the uterus. They can be large or small, ranging from microscopic formations to 5 or 6 inches.
Symptoms of fibroids
While not all fibroids do impact daily life, they can lead to heavier, longer periods. This is probably one of the most common symptoms of fibroids, but the list also includes pain and bleeding during intercourse, lower back pain and frequent peeing. If you notice any of these symptoms you need to go to the doctor, as they might be a symptom of other conditions.
When do fibroids appear?
If you are diagnosed with fibroids it doesn’t mean you’ve always had them. There are women who develop fibroids during their childbearing years, while others develop them after menopause. They can be hereditary, so if your mother and grandmother had fibroids, your risk of developing fibroids as well is high. Studies revealed that African American women are more likely to suffer from fibroids.
Because they are influenced by hormones, fibroids can change in size during pregnancy aka grow and shrink after menopause.
It is important to know that fibroids are not influenced by your lifestyle, so don’t blame yourself for developing the formations.
How are fibroids diagnosed
Fibroids are usually diagnosed during an ultrasound. Large formations can also be detected during a pelvic exam, as well as those who determine the change of the uterus shape. If the doctor suspects the location of the fibroids can lead to future problems, they might ask for a MRI, to detect their shape and size, as well as check if they put pressure on other organs.
Fibroids and pregnancy
If your fibroids are located on the cervix or block the fallopian tubes, they might prevent you from becoming pregnant or cause a miscarriage. But these cases are rare, as most women experience no difficulty in conceiving. During the pregnancy, large fibroids can lead to complications, like making a C-section mandatory, but they don’t pose a severe risk for the mother or the baby.
Fibroids can be treated with medication
When they hear they have fibroids many women think of hysterectomy, but there are other treatments one can try, depending on the specific case. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, as well as your age, there are non-surgical options available to treat the symptoms of fibroids, the most common being birth control pills and IUD.
Hysterectomy is only the last resort, as there are many other procedures during which the formations are removed, leaving the uterus intact.