Fibroids are tumor growth made of smooth muscle and fibrous connective tissue cells that develop in or around the womb (uterus). They’re also called uterine fibroids, myomas, and leiomyomas that appear alone or in groups. Many women, without knowing, live their life with fibroids because they do not have any symptoms and suffer uterus pain as a regular menstruation cycle pain.
These tumors are not associated with a risk of cancer and range in size, from as small as a seed to as big as a melon. Moreover, in special cases, these can grow into the uterine cavity or outward from the uterus on stalks.
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Symptoms Of Fibroids
Most women with Fibroids will have no symptoms at all; however, the most common symptoms are:
- Irregular, prolonged, and heavy bleeding periods with pain
- Pain in pelvic areas
- Large size lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Lower back pain
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination problem
- Reproductive problems (infertility)
- Complications during pregnancy and labor
Women who do have symptoms should seek medical attention at the earliest. Don’t just try to get rid of period cramps; talk with the doctors at USA Fibroid Centers for a professional diagnosis and non-surgical treatment option.
Who Gets Them?
The study suggests that almost 80% of women have fibroids in their lifetime, or an estimated 20% to 50% of women of reproductive age currently have fibroids. Up to 77% of women will develop fibroids sometime during their childbearing years. Luckily only ⅓ of these fibroids are large enough to be detected by the human eye, so the rest are often undiagnosed without causing any pain or symptoms.
Why do Fibroids Develop?
But research suggests fibroids develop from an abnormal muscle cell in the uterus and multiplies rapidly when encountering the estrogen hormone, which promotes the tumor’s growth.
Estrogen hormone is produced by the ovaries, therefore it usually develops during a woman’s reproductive years (from around the age of 16 to 50) when estrogen levels are at their highest.
What Causes Fibroids?
Why do you get fibroids? Truly, no one knows what caused uterine fibroids in the first place, and medical science still does not hold any substantial evidence to support it. But research indicates that these fibroids are subjected to hormones; estrogen and progesterone.
It has also been observed that fibroids occur more often in overweight or obese women. They are at higher risk of developing fibroids because being overweight increases estrogen level in the body.
African American women are more likely to grow fibroids than other races; about 80 – 90% of black women are diagnosed with the condition at younger ages. The stats are different for African-Caribbean origin; between the ages of 21-30, more than 25% already develop fibroids. This disproportionately is not clearly understood yet, but they more often require treatment.
Fibroids may come to you as heredity; if your mother or sister has a history of fibroids condition, you’re at increased risk of inheriting the medical condition.
Starting Menstruation Early
Being sensitive to hormones, particularly estrogen, fibroids have more potential to form in women who begin menstruating before the age of 11 compared to those who begin menstruating after the age of 13.
Everyone should have a healthy diet and routine life. Eating habits lower in green vegetables, fruits, or dairy and higher in red meat, including alcohol, appears to boost the fibroids’ establishment.
If you are not consistent in a healthy diet, you have a lesser chance of avoiding fibroids because a diet can balance multiple hormones that may initiate these growths.
Major Life Stress
Stressful major life events lead to changes in hormone levels that encourage the development of fibroids. Physical and emotional health will be helpful in blocking fibroids as well.
Who Is At The Risk Of Getting Fibroids?
While being not sure about the fibroids causes, there is definite external exposure that a woman can have that increase the risk of developing fibroids:
Genetics: Even though all women are vulnerable to getting fibroids from reproductive age, it seems black women are more likely to develop fibroids than any other women’s racial group. Moreover, black girls at younger ages grow fibroids and are diagnosed with more or larger tumors, alongside more-severe symptoms.
Overweight: Overweight women or obese are more likely to get fibroids; the risk is two to three times greater than average.
Age: Women aging, especially during their 30s and 40s and up to menopause.
Poor Diet: Anyone who diets high in red meat or has an addictive consumption routine.
Vitamin D Deficient: Anyone with Vitamin D deficiency because it limits the production of fibrous tissue by fibrous cells.
Non-Pregnant: Women who have not conceived yet.
High Blood Pressure: Fibroids are often associated with increased blood pressure (BP) levels.
How Are Fibroids Treated?
In case you have fibroids but do not have any symptoms, your health provider may not recommend any treatment but will keep on checking for growth during regular exams. But if you have Fibroids with mild or extreme symptoms and pain, your treatment journey will be discussed and will walk you through the different non-surgical options considering the type, severity, and pregnancy planning.
To ensure you live a quality life at USA Fibroid Centers, our medical experts suggest a non-surgical treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). The procedure requires delivery of embolic agents to the artery feeding the fibroids and causing them to shrink and for gradual death. The process does not damage the uterus like a hysterectomy or surgery like a myomectomy and also includes a short period of recovery.