What are Fibroids?
Fibroids are usually benign (non-cancerous) growths that appear within the muscle and connective tissue of the uterus. Most of the time fibroids grow slowly but others develop more quickly. They typically grow larger over time.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but some women with fibroids can have:
- Heavy bleeding or painful periods.
- bleeding between periods.
- Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area (lower abdomen).
- Urinating often.
- Pain during sex.
- Lower back pain.
- Reproductive problems, such as infertility, having more than one miscarriage, or having early onset of labor during pregnancy.
What is the treatment for fibroids?
- whether or not you are having symptoms from the fibroids.
- If you might want to become pregnant.
- The size of the fibroids.
- The location of the fibroids.
- Your age.
Other drugs used to treat fibroids are called gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa). These drugs can decrease the size of the fibroids. Sometimes they are used before surgery, to shrink the fibroids, making them easier to remove. Side effects can include hot flushes, depression, not being able to sleep, decreased sex drive, and joint pain. These drugs only offer temporary relief from the symptoms of fibroids; once you stop the therapy, the fibroids often grow back.
If you have fibroids with moderate or severe symptoms, surgery may be the best way to treat them. Here are the options:
Myomectomy - a surgery to remove fibroids without taking out the healthy tissue of the uterus.
Hysterectomy - a surgery to remove the uterus. This surgery is the only sure way to cure uterine fibroids. This surgery is used when a woman's fibroids are large, or if she has heavy bleeding, and is either near or past menopause and does not want children.