(Laparoscopic view of a fibroid from the wall of the uterus)

Fibroids are responsible for a number of problems that may harm the uterus. If not treated properly at the right time, they may lead to severe problems. Hysteroscopy is the commonly used treatment method at Garbba Rakshambigai Fertility Centre. Knowing the symptoms can be more helpful when you take medical help. Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps that develop in the uterus. The cause for this is found to be an abnormal growth of the muscle wall of the uterus and are technically known as "leiomyomas". They are extremely common among women, who belong to childbearing age group with a high prevalence of 50-70%. Fortunately most of them are small and do not cause problems. But if they are large or located at certain places, they may cause problems.

What are the problems caused by fibroids?

The size of fibroids vary from small seedlings which cannot be seen, to big masses that can even distort and enlarge the uterus. They may be single or multiple and can be located anywhere in different layers of the uterus. It is found that, 3 out of 4 patients with fibroids live without any symptoms. These fibroids will be usually an incidental finding on a scan, or seen in an uterus which is removed for some other reason. The problems caused by fibroids are variable. However, one should keep in mind that any one person may have only one or two of the problems and not all of them. Few of the common problems are listed below:

• Heavy bleeding during menses
• Painful menses
• Lower abdominal pain
• Urinary and bowel disturbances
• Infertility
• Abortions

What are the risk factors for developing a fibroid?

Though there is no single cause that is found to be specific for the formation of fibroid, there are several factors that can increase the likelihood of getting a fibroid. Poor dietary habits like regular consumption of red meat can increase the risk of fibroid formation. On the other hand, diets which are rich in green leafy vegetables and fruits appear to be protective against fibroids.

What are diagnostic options available for fibroids?

Based on your complaints and physical examination findings, a qualified gynecologist will be able to suspect the presence of a fibroid. Ultrasonography is an excellent investigation that is widely used to diagnose fibroids, while 3D- ultrasonography will clearly delineate the type and number of fibroids. In certain situations when USG is limited by body habitus or distorted anatomy, an MRI scan may be required to image the uterus. Basic blood investigations are usually done to assess whether the fibroid has affected the general body condition or not.

Management options available for fibroid

Majority of fibroids are asymptomatic and do not cause any problem. In such cases, they can be safely observed without any major intervention. When the fibroid is found to be large, ultrasound scanning is done at periodic intervals is to ensure that the fibroid is not increasing in size. Young patients who have fibroids which cause problems like heavy bleeding during menses, painful menses, lower abdominal pain, urinary and bowel disturbances, infertility, abortions can be treated with medicines like hormonal medications and anti-inflammatory drugs. If the symptoms cannot be controlled with medications and hormones, then surgery is required. Most of the fibroids can be removed by laparoscopic surgery.

In laparoscopic surgery, a small key hole is made, a pen shaped camera is passed and then the fibroid is visualized. Another small key hole is made, through which special instruments that can remove the fibroid are passed under the guidance of the camera. Using this method we can safely remove most of the fibroids without opting for open surgery. Laparsocopic surgery allows rapid recovery and quicker healing when compared to open surgery. The postoperative pain is also minimal with laparoscopic surgery. If cases where the fibroids are within the uterine cavity, we at Garbba Rakshambigai Fertility Centre, use a technique called hysteroscopic resection. In this technique, we are able to pass the camera (hysteroscope) and instruments through the vagina and into the uterus, under anesthesia. The fibroid is then taken out through the natural opening of the body- the vagina- and not through an incision.

Talk to us if you have any queries on fibroids. We have an expertized team to guide you on it’s symptoms, causes and treatment methods, the risk factors. Garbba Rakshambigai Fertility Centre has been successful in treating the problems that have associated with fibroids.

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