What Is a Uterine Fibroid?

What Is a Uterine Fibroid?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) lumps that form on the walls of the uterus. It is a common tumour that forms on the smooth muscle and can develop within the uterus as well as attach itself to it. These tumours can occur as a single tumour or in clusters. 50% of women tend to have uterine fibroids at some point in their lives but often goes unnoticed. Fibroids can be discovered during a prenatal ultrasound or pelvic examination.

Symptoms of Uterine Fibroid

Uterine fibroids can have a few common symptoms based on their size, location, and proximity to pelvic organs. The presence of two or all of these symptoms may indicate the presence of uterine fibroid:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Pain and pressure
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Constipation

Causes of Uterine Fibroid

The causes or exact reasons why uterine fibroid develops in some women are unknown. It is part hereditary as women who are affected often have a family history of fibroids. These growths occur as a response to the hormone oestrogen and can show up as early as 20 years. However, the chances reduce and the existent lumps shrink after menopause due to the lesser production of the hormone. There are a few factors that are commonly found associated with the presence of uterine fibroid.

  • Obesity
  • Nulliparity (Never having given birth to a child)
  • Early menstrual period prior to age 10

Treatment Uterine Fibroid

The condition is often harmless but in certain cases, it may cause infertility and other health issues. This issue can be cured by surgery or medication-based treatments. Surgical treatments such as hysterectomy, myomectomy, cryosurgery, and embolization are procedures used to remove an uterus fibroid. Hormone therapy using medication is another option where the hormonal imbalance is corrected causing the fibroid to reduce in size and be cured.