Knowing and Understanding women’s health can be mysterious as there are many conditions and disorders like PCOS, Ovarian and cervical cancer, Endometriosis, Interstitial Cystitis, and Fibroids or Uterine Fibroids, one among the list that women undergo. And in all of these listed conditions and disorders, a few are non-harmful and a few can be dangerous to deal with. In this blog, we will discuss What Uterine Fibroids are, the Signs and Symptoms of these Fibroids, the Causes, and How these Fibroids affect pregnancy.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids or Uterine Fibroids, also known as Myomas or Leiomyomas, are non-cancerous tumors that occur in the uterus from muscle tissue. These fibroids can range in size from pea size to grapefruit. Women typically have multiple fibroids, but single fibroids are feasible. The location, size, and quantity of fibroids determine whether they produce discomfort or need treatment.
Fibroids are most commonly seen in or around the uterus’s body, however, they can also be found in the cervix. Fibroids are classified into three kinds based on their location:
- Subserosal refers to the uterine outer wall.
- Intramurals seem to be present in the uterine wall’s muscle layers.
- Protrusion of the submucosa into the uterine cavity.
Uterine Fibroids or Myomas are so common that almost 20 – 80% of the women can experience these non-cancerous growths during their 50s, while 30% of the women between their 30s and 40s may experience the symptoms of fibroids. This clearly explains that these Benign tumors are frequent during women’s reproductive years.
The following are some of the reasons and causes of uterine tumors. However, even in the absence of the aforementioned causes, uterine fibroids are known to occur in the majority of women, but they frequently disappear without compromising health or causing any symptoms.
- Women with a genetic history of Uterine Tumors are more prone to develop the condition.
- Women who began their menstrual cycle before the age of ten are more prone to develop uterine tumors.
- Some treatments and medications might cause fibroids as a side effect.
Signs or Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids generally go unreported since they do not always create indications or symptoms. The major sign of fibroids in symptomatic individuals is unusual bleeding in the form of excessive or prolonged menstrual flow.
Typical Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids include
- Severe Cramps
- Prolonged menstrual periods
- Pain or discomfort
- Severe lower back pain
- Irritation in the uterus
- Reproduction issues like miscarriage, infertility, and preterm labor
- Increased need to urinate
- Feeling heavy or hard in the stomach
You have heard me right, these fibroids are so common during the reproductive ages, leaving a question “Can Uterine Fibroids decrease fertility? and How Does Uterine Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?”
Fibroids affect 5% to 10% of infertile women. The size and location of fibroids influence whether or not they impair fertility. The majority of women with tumors are unlikely to be infertile. Before treating fibroids, women with myomas and their partners should be properly assessed to rule out any reproductive issues. A fertility specialist can help determine whether fibroids are interfering with conception. Benign tumors can interfere with pregnancy and fertility depending on their size and location. Fibroids can interfere with the reproductive process in various ways, including:
- Changing the structure of the uterus in such a way that certain sperm cannot enter
- Altering the shape of the uterus in a way that influences the embryo
- Blocking sperm or eggs from exiting the fallopian tubes
- Inducing uterine lining disruption
- Obstructing blood flow to the uterus or the infant
- Interfering with the baby’s fertilization or development
The most serious issue during pregnancy is whether the fibroid may increase the likelihood of premature delivery or miscarriage. Fibroids can overrun their blood supply and produce significant discomfort in rare circumstances. Below mentioned are other difficulties during pregnancy and delivery may be increased if you have fibroids. These are some examples:
According to WomensHealth.gov, women with fibroids are 6 times more likely than women without these growths to require a cesarean birth (C-section).
2.The breech position:
The infant may be unable to align for natural delivery due to the irregular shape of the uterus.
According to studies conducted, women with fibroids had twice the risk of miscarriage.
4.Limitation of fetal growth:
Due to a lack of space in the womb, large fibroids may hinder a fetus from properly developing.
5.Abruption of the placenta:
This happens when the placenta separates from the uterine wall due to a fibroid. This reduces the availability of oxygen and nutrients.
Fibroid pain can cause uterine contractions, which might result in an early birth.
Uterine Fibroids Treatment
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a minimally invasive therapy for uterine fibroid tumors. Small particles are put into the bloodstream to limit blood flow to the fibroids. The fibroids will diminish in size as a result. This procedure is only considered if you are experiencing; Heavy bleeding, Pelvic pain, and swelling of the abdomen.
During the Uterine Fibroid Embolisation procedure at Flow Vascular Clinic by Dr. Abhlilash Sandhyala, First, your radiologist will examine your uterus and blood arteries using a fluoroscope. A fluoroscope produces moving images of inside organs, which are subsequently shown on a computer monitor. To relieve your discomfort, anesthesia will be delivered. Your doctor will next create a tiny incision under the skin above your femoral artery, a big blood vessel that runs longitudinally through your groin. Your doctor will next put a catheter into either the left or right artery that feeds the fibroid.
Following that, an X-Ray dye is injected into the uterine artery and its branches, lighting the fibroids and making them visible on the fluoroscope’s monitor. This is used by the radiologist to pinpoint the proper uterine artery and inject tiny plastic or gelatin particles into the blood vessel. These particles block the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to diminish in size. After this operation on one artery is done, it will be repeated on another artery, and the total procedure will take 1 to 12 hours.
In simple words, Uterine Fibroids may have an impact on fertility, most women suffering from these tumors may experience no issues in fertility and even pregnancy. If you’re suffering from fibroids and want to create a family, talk to your doctor about your treatment options and complications. While fibroids cannot be prevented, a healthy lifestyle, including keeping a healthy weight, may reduce your chance of reproductive disorders and high-risk pregnancies. For tumor treatment options and queries, do contact our experts.