Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths(tumors) that develop in or on the womb but are noncancerous.They vary in size, some are one , others in clusters and some remain their size.The exact cause of fibroids are unknown but certain factors trigger their formation.
•Hormonal imbalance, high level of oestrogen and progesterone is low which are all produced by the ovaries, tends to bring about development of fibroid.
•Hereditary, when close female relatives have been diagnosed of having fibroid, the changes of getting it too can be high.
•Environmental factors, early onset of menstruation.
• Having diet high in red meat and lower in green vegetables, fruits,dairy and vitamins D deficiency triggers oestrogen receptors in the womb.
•Other growth factors eg insulin like-growth factor that help the body to maintain its tissue may affect fibroid growth.

Depending on the location of the fibroid in or on the womb indicates the type.
•Intramural fibroid grow in the muscular wall of the womb and is the commonest and can stretch the womb.
•Subserosal fibroid grows outside the womb, it can grow larger enough to make the womb appear bigger on one side.
•Submucosal fibroid it develops into the cavity of the womb and cause heavy menstrual bleeding and trouble getting pregnant.

How does uterine fibroids present?
Some fibroids does not present any signs and symptoms but some does depending on the individual. The symptoms include:
•Heavy bleeding between or during menstrual periods.
•Pain in the pelvis and the lower back.
•Increased menstrual cramps.
•Frequent urination.
•Mensturation that last longer than usual.
•Painful sexual intercourse.
•Feeling of heaviness at lower abdomen.
•Pain in the leg.

Diagnosing of uterine fibroids by the gynecologist depends on the pelvic examination been carried out to acertain the condition, size and shape of the womb by an ultrasound scan to produce images of the womb and its internal structures and any fibroids present and pelvic magnetic resonance imagery(MRI) gives in-depth imaging testing produces pictures of the uterus, ovaries and other pelvic organs.

Treatment plan for fibroids are based on the age, size of the fibroid, overall health and social life( wanting to have conceive or not) of the individual.
Treatment can be surgical or medical.
Some medication can be prescribed to regulate the level of the hormones to shrink the fibroids.
Other medications can help control the bleeding and the pain,but not shrinking or eliminating the fibroids.
Surgical treatment of the fibroids are myomectomy, where the tumor only is removed from the womb and conception can take place whereas Hysterectomy is the complete removal of the womb if the condition worsens or other treatment fails to work. However, this means that conception can never be possible.

By Ophelia Kamason



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