Uterine Fibroids Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

 By: Dr Andrew Napier
A uterine fibroid is a kind of non-cancerous (benign) tumor that originates in the myometrium muscle layer and adjoining connective tissues in the uterus and can grow inside the uterine cavity. Fibroid is the most common form of tumor found in females. It occurs mainly during the middle or later reproductive age in females. Fibroids may grow as a single tumor or in multiple numbers as in clusters. Unlike its name it contains muscles and not fibroid tissues. It occurs in approximately 25% women and can lead to hysterectomy. In United States out of every 5 women over the age of 35, 1 has uterine fibroid. About 60000 hysterectomies are performed annually out of which one-third is a case of uterine fibroid.

The exact cause for the development of uterine fibroid is still unknown to doctors. However after performing researches they have come up with changes of gene mutation to be cause in the formation of uterine fibroid. But it is still not definite that uterine fibroid could be directly related to genes. Environmental causes can also accentuate the growth. They grow from the smooth muscular tissues and in extreme cases reach even till the rib cage expanding from the uterus. The 2 female hormones necessary for the growth are estrogen and progesterone. A complex interaction between these two hormones accompanied by a number of factors responsible for cell growth causes it, so usually seen in women between the age of twenty five and thirty five.

The symptoms of uterine fibroid are multiple in most cases but nil in some. Where symptoms are absent diagnosis is possible through medical examinations. Uterine fibroids are characterized by menstrual symptoms like pelvic pain and discomfort, frequent and excessive menstruation, vaginal discharge etc. Other problems like lower back pain, fullness of lower abdomen, bladder problems, frequent urination, painful intercourse, symptoms of reproduction etc also exist. Some serious symptoms like infertility, onset of labor pain early, recurrent automatic abortions etc.

In case of absence of symptoms there is no need of medication. Also if the patient has undergone menopause treatment is not necessary. Abnormal bleeding from vagina can be controlled by intake of hormonal medicines. Consult your physicians for various other forms of medication available for the same. He might prescribe you some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, agonists, birth control pills etc. Other anti hormonal drugs are also given sometimes according to the necessity. Surgery is also a way but it involves both benefits and risks. Surgeries like Myomectomy, hysterectomy, uterine artery embolization etc can be done depending as your doctor suggests.
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