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Uterine Fibroids - What you need to know

Many women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives. But you might not know you have uterine fibroids because they often cause no symptoms. Your doctor may discover fibroids incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.

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Uterine Fibroids - What you need to know

Many women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives. But you might not know you have uterine fibroids because they often cause no symptoms. Your doctor may discover fibroids incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.

Amitabh Bachchan mob

Condition

Causes

Symptoms

Specialists

Insurance

Condition

first condition

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb). Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous). view more

How is it Diagnosed ?When to consult a Doctor?

See your doctor if you have: 1 ) Pelvic pain that does not go away 2 ) Overly heavy, prolonged or painful periods

view more

second condition

Condition

Condition one

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb). Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous).

view more

Condition two

How is it Diagnosed ?When to consult a Doctor?

See your doctor if you have: 1 ) Pelvic pain that does not go away 2 ) Overly heavy, prolonged or painful periods

view more

Causes

  • Genetic changes. Many fibroids contain changes in genes that differ from those in typical uterine muscle cells.
  • Hormones. Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids.
  • Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than typical uterine muscle cells do. Fibroids tend to shrink after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production.
  • Other growth factors. Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like growth factor, may affect fibroid growth.
  • Extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM is the material that makes cells stick together, like mortar between bricks. ECM is increased in fibroids and makes them fibrous. ECM also stores growth factors and causes biologic changes in the cells themselves.

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

Causes

  • Genetic changes. Many fibroids contain changes in genes that differ from those in typical uterine muscle cells.
  • Hormones. Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids.
  • Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than typical uterine muscle cells do. Fibroids tend to shrink after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production.
  • Other growth factors. Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like growth factor, may affect fibroid growth.
  • Extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM is the material that makes cells stick together, like mortar between bricks. ECM is increased in fibroids and makes them fibrous. ECM also stores growth factors and causes biologic changes in the cells themselves.

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

When to go for surgery?

Uterine fibroids usually need treatment when they cause:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Uterine fibroids are benign, or noncancerous, fibrous growths that form in the uterus. They’re very common. They can grow on the outside of the uterus (called subserosal fibroids), inside the muscle of the uterus (called intramural fibroids), or into the uterine cavity (called submucosal fibroids).

There is definitely a genetic component, but we haven’t found any lifestyle factors that cause uterine fibroids.

Some women have no symptoms at all from fibroids and do not even know they have them. Other women have severe symptoms. Symptoms can include very heavy menstrual cycles. Some women have so much bleeding that they become anemic —that is a hallmark symptom. Fibroids that cause severe bleeding are usually closer to the uterine cavity. Some women can have very large fibroids that cause the uterus to be up to 10 times its normal size. This causes what we call bulk symptoms.For example, a woman may feel that her uterus is very enlarged, like she is pregnant. She may have related symptoms due to its bulk size, like constipation or increased urination.

If a woman sees her doctor because she is having increased bleeding or a heavy menstrual cycle, the doctor will likely check for uterine fibroids, but these symptoms can also be due to things such as uterine polyps, dysfunctional uterine bleeding or bleeding caused by hormonal imbalances.

Fibroids are typically diagnosed by ultrasound. That is really the easiest way to see the uterus, and fibroids are usually very easily seen. The first step might be an exam by your doctor, where he or she would feel an enlarged uterus and suspect fibroids. For smaller fibroids, the only way to diagnose them is often with ultrasound. Some doctors may choose to also do an MRI of the pelvis as a way to see exactly where the fibroids are.

It depends on symptoms and size. For example, if a woman has fibroids inside the uterine cavity, we may do a hysteroscopic myomectomy, in which we look inside the uterus with a camera. At the same time, we can do a surgical procedure to remove the fibroids if they’re just inside the uterine cavity.