Uterine fibroids (or myoma, fibroma, uterine leiomyoma, leiofibromyoma, fibroleiomyoma) are one of the most common benign tumors which are mot cancerous. It is found to develop inside the uterus of a woman. It initiates from the downy muscle layer and the supplementary connective tissue of the uterus. They then develop over the uterus walls or even within the wall of the uterine and get attached to it. It is rated to be one of the most common benign tumors among women. Generally, this disease develops during later or middle reproductive years and less frequent during early reproductive years.
Asymptotic fibroids are found to occur more commonly. Such uterine fibroids cause many problems including more frequent urination, heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, pelvic pain, etc. sometimes they can cause interference with pregnancy although it is not a frequent problem and appear rarely. Such fibroids can appear as a single tumor or in clusters, though they generally appear in clusters only. Diffuse uterine leiomyomatosis is a condition of occurrence of too many leiomyomatoses. Leiomyosarcoma is a malignant fibroid that is extremely uncommon and rarely diagnosed.
There are clear symptoms indicating the presence of uterine fibroids. When the following symptoms are noticed, it is necessary to consult the doctor to avoid any future complications or dangers related to conception and delivery.
- Change in the contour of the abdomen and increased size of the waist
- Pain in pelvis
- Pressure on the bladder accompanied with uncomfortable and more frequent urination
- Continuous pain in back
- Experiencing pressure in lower abdomen or feeling of fullness
- Painful periods
- Recurrent miscarriages
- Heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding, which may lead to a deficiency of iron in the body
- Premature labor
- Interference with the position of the embryo inside the womb
In most cases, uterine fibroids are not treated unless they are causing some problems. This is decided by the doctor on the basis of frequency of growth of fibroid, age of the patient, amount of blood loss or pain during the menstrual cycle, desire to conceive, and various other factors. Some of the treatments involved may cause infertility and surgery options may lead to sterility. However, some of the commonly employed treatments are:
- Endometrial ablation: this treatment is generally employed in cases where the growth is found inside the inner layer of the uterus. Generally, laser energy, microwave heating, a heated wire loop, or hot fluid in the balloon is used to remove the inner lining of the womb where the fibroid is developing.
- Myolysis: it is still considered to be an experimental form of therapy in the treatment of fibroid. It can be carried out during laparoscopy which is a minor surgical process. In this process, the surgeon inserts electric current or needle probes directly inside the fibroid. It cauterizes both the fibroids as well as the blood vessels around it.
- Myomectomy: it is a surgical process used the completely remove the uterine fibroid and leave the back of the uterus intact. Generally, those women, who wish to conceive, undergo this surgical procedure. However, it is less frequently advised by the doctors because of greater blood loss involved with the procedure than a hysterectomy.
- Laparoscopy myomectomy: it is rarely suggested by doctors and in particular it is employed in the cases where the fibroids have grown outside the cavity of the uterus.