What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are, generally, noncancerous (benign) growths of the uterus that often occur during a woman’s childbearing years. They are also commonly referred to as uterine fibroids, fibromyomas, leiomyomas or myomas. Fibroids are growths of smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. Fibroids can range in size, from very small to as large as a grapefruit. It is not uncommon for women to develop uterine fibroids; thankfully they aren’t associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer.
Types Of Fibroids
There are four types of fibroids:
- Intramural fibroids – Grow within the muscular wall of the uterus and are the most common type of fibroid.
- Submucosal fibroids – Grow in the uterine lining and may cause heavier than normal menstrual bleeding.
- Subserosal fibroids – Grow outwards from the outer covering of the uterus and may create pressure on the bladder resulting in incontinence and the constant urge to urinate.
- Pedunculated fibroids – have a stalk attaching them to the uterus and may grow either on the outside of the uterus or inside it.
Who Is At Risk?
As many as 3 out of 4 women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives, but most are unaware of them because they often cause no symptoms. Your doctor may discover fibroids incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound. Women between the ages of 30 to 50 are the most likely to develop fibroids. Also, overweight and obese women are at much higher risk of developing fibroids, as compared to women of average weight.
How Are Fibroids Diagnosed?
Typically, fibroids are discovered on a routine visit to your doctor during a vaginal examination. Whereas most women will not know they have fibroids, it is very important to have regular examinations, especially for those with higher risk factors.
Here are some other methods of detection for uterine fibroids:
- Ultrasound – If the doctor thinks fibroids may be present he/she may use an ultrasound scan to determine their presence.
- Hysteroscopy – This involves a small scope that examines the inside of the uterus. During this procedure, if necessary, a biopsy can be taken of the lining of the uterus.
- Laparoscopy – This involves a device that allows your doctor to visualize inside your abdomen. Laparoscopy looks at the outside of the uterus – where the doctor examines its size and shape.
In conclusion, it is not uncommon for a woman to have uterine fibroids, and in most cases they experience no complications. However, some patients may experience symptoms so severe it disrupts their everyday lives, to the extent where routine task can become impossible.
If you feel you may have the symptoms or have been diagnosed with uterine fibroid tumors, it is a good idea to discuss all of the available treatments for fibroids with a qualified doctor.
Looking For More Information On Treating Uterine Fibroids?
Call Halt Medical at 877.412.3828 or click to receive our patient brochure on uterine fibroid treatment.