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Uterine Fibroids

What is anuterine fibroid

Fibroids are non-cancerous growth arising from the muscle wall of the womb. It is one of the most prevalent gynaecological conditions, estimated to be present in about 20-30% of women.

Most fibroids grow within the wall of the uterus, and based on their location, they are classified as:

  • Submucosal fibroids, which grow inside the cavity of the womb.
  • Intramural fibroids, which grow within the wall of the womb.
  • Subserosal fibroids, which grow on the outside of the uterus.
Symptoms of uterine fibroid

Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, symptoms may or may not be present. However, fibroids can cause the following symptoms:

  • Heavy bleeding or painful periods
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Feeling "full" in the lower abdomen, sometimes referred to as "pelvic pressure"
  • Frequent urination
  • Lower back pain
  • Difficulty to conceive and repeated miscarriages
How are uterine fibroids diagnosed

​Uterine fibroids can be diagnosed by pelvic exam and ultrasound scans.

How is uterine fibroid treated

The treatment choice depends various factors, including age, desire for further childbearing, the size of the fibroids, and symptoms and their severity.

If an individual has uterine fibroids but has no symptoms, she may not need treatment. However, regular check-ups are required to monitor fibroid growth. Since fibroids are hormone-dependant, they usually decrease in size after menopause.

For mild symptoms such as pain, your doctor may suggest pain-relievers.

Hormonal medications can be prescribed to reduce the bleeding during menses. GnRH-analogues may be used temporarily for symptom relief or to reduce the size of the fibroid before surgery. Mirena coil can be used in some cases to reduce bleeding during menses.

Severe symptoms, large fibroids, or those continuing to grow may necessitate surgical intervention.

Surgery involves either removing the fibroids (myomectomy) or the entire womb (hysterectomy). Both procedures can be performed via the laparoscopic or conventional open surgery, depending factors such as fibroid size, location and the doctors' experience and training.

Other treatments such as uterine artery embolization are being explored. This procedure involves cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids under X-ray guidance.

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