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Uterine Fibroids- Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, And Prevention

Posted by Srilakshmi Venkataraman on Tue, Feb 28, 2017  
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Do you have a constant urge to urinate every now and then? If you also suffer from heavy periods and reproductive problems, then you might probably one of the victims of uterine fibroids. In general, women in the mid age (30s to 50s) are prone to uterine fibroids. Even though they are commonly called as uterine leiomyomas, they are not cancer cells. These fibroids usually grow in the uterine wall and can range from one to many in number. Let us take a look at the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease.

What are the causes?

Well, the exact cause is not yet identified however, research says that it is influenced by factors such as the increase in the level of hormones at the time of pregnancy and or during the periods.  Also, they are influenced by genetical factors and obesity. It is found to develop from an individual muscle cell in the uterus and later multiply eventually.

What are the symptoms?

More often, women do not suffer from obvious symptoms when in the case of fibroids. Nevertheless, most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include the following,  

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Bleeding heavy during menstrual
  • Severe pain during intercourse
  • Back pain; especially in the lower back
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Longer menstrual duration.

However, these symptoms vary among the individuals depending upon the size of the fibroids present in your uterus wall.

What are the methods of diagnosis?

Incase of suffering from any or all of the above symptoms, it is better to consult your gynecologist and get a pelvic examination done. Women who undergo this examination on a regular basis can be diagnosed at the early stages of fibroids. The examination tests for any abnormality in the size or shape of your uterus. In addition to that, the following medical diagnosis might be required to get a clear picture. They include,

X-rays: To diagnose the minor abnormalities in the internal organs with electromagnetic waves.

Ultrasounds: To examine the uterus by inserting a probe into the vagina and by ultrasound waves.

CT scan: To obtain images of the abnormality if any, by making views possible in different angles.

MRI: To get an in-depth clarity about the pelvic organs internally.

Hysteroscopy: For detecting the abnormalities in the uterus and in the fallopian tubes.

Laproscopy: To check the presence of fibroids outside the uterus.

One or more tests among the above will be advised depending upon the observations.

How is it treated?

If the fibroids develop during the menopause stages, they are not considered serious and are not generally treated; these fibroids shrink after the menopause stage and do not cause any trouble. Otherwise, there are several treatments available to treat uterine fibroids depending upon the factors such as the size of the fibroids, reproductive plan of the patient, and also the place where the fibroid is located.

Medications: In the case of mild or beginning stage of the fibroids, doctors generally will prescribe you to take medications such as taking pain killers that are anti-inflammatory. Also, in the case of heavy bleeding during menstrual cycles, iron supplementary tablets are prescribed. These medications offer only a temporary relief in case of developed fibroids.

Surgery: In the case of the severity in the fibroid growth, surgery is recommended. The surgery is of several types such as the surgery to freeze the fibroids present, supply blood to the fibroids and thereby shrinking the fibroids, removal of the uterus lining. All of these remove the fibroids or destroy them without removing the uterus. However, removing the uterus completely will be an effective measure for fibroid removal and to stop them from coming again.

How to prevent fibroids?

In spite of the fact that the exact method for preventing uterine fibroids from occurring is not found, it can be prevented by self-management effectively; such as maintaining your body weight ad by following a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet. 

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