Uterine Fibroids or fibroids are non-cancerous lumps (composed of muscular tissue) that grow in the muscular walls of the uterus. It affects more than 10 million women every year in India. They commonly occur during the childbearing years of women and usually shrink after menopause. A woman’s risk of developing fibroids increases if she is genetically predisposed to it.
Some women with Fibroids may have no symptoms or may have mild symptoms which can be overlooked. However, here are some common symptoms a woman with Fibroids may have:
- Lower back pain
- Prolonged menstrual cycle
- Abnormal bleeding
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Frequent urination
- Painful intercourse
Fibroids can also cause problems during pregnancy. It can cause:
- Repeated miscarriages
- Problems during labour and delivery
It is still not clear as to why fibroids get formed but it is observed that estrogen and progesterone hormones cause the growth when it reacts with muscular cells in the uterus. With menopause, as the estrogen and progesterone hormone levels decline, the lumps shrink or disappear.
Fibroids can be diagnosed through vaginal examination, ultrasound, MRI scan, laparoscopy and hysteroscopy
Women who have no symptoms or who have mild symptoms that do not affect their routine may opt to not get it treated. But in cases where treatment is necessary, fibroids can be treated by medicines or by surgery. Constant monitoring is required after treatment as they may get formed again.
Uterine Polyps are mostly non-cancerous lumps that form along the inner walls of the uterus. Uterine polyps are also called endometrial polyps as are made from the lining (endometrial) tissue. In some cases, polyps could be cancerous or it can turn into cancer.
Polyps vary in size; they can be as small as few millimeters and can grow as big as several centimeters. Polyps usually occur in women who are going through menopause or those who have completed menopause. Polyps are said to form in reaction to estrogen.
Symptoms of polyps include:
- Bleeding after menopause
- Irregular cycles
Polyps can be diagnosed by medical tests like ultrasound, hysteroscopy and biopsy. Polyps may be cured by hormonal medication or may be removed by surgery. Tiny polyps may resolve themselves without any intervention; however such advice should come from a doctor.
Fibroids and polyps are treatable by doctors through a combination of medical care, surgical care and post surgical nursing care at home. It is important to see a doctor when symptoms manifest itself to ensure better diagnosis, faster cure and trouble free recover at home.