What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids aresemicircular or circular,non-cancerous lumps that grow in the uterus and are made up of the same muscle fiber as uterine wall. It is a silent health destroyer as most of the women with uterine fibroids show no symptoms.
Uterine fibroids normally occur in 1 of 5 women over 30 years of age. The African American women are three times more at risk for fibroids than any other ethnic group. In fact, 20-40% of all African American women will have fibroids by the age of 40.
Uterine fibroid symptoms can develop slowly or rapidly,and can be mild or none at alldependingupon their size and location in the uterus.The most common symptoms of Uterine Fibroid are:
- Heavy, painful and prolonged periods
- Unusual periods with clots
- Spotting/Bleeding in-between periods
- Pain and pressure in the abdomen, pelvis, legs or lower back
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bloating and feeling of abdominal pressure
- Frequent or sometimes obstructed urination
- Leakage of urine
- Painful bowel movements
- Constipation and bloating
- Abdominal distension
- Pregnancy problems like miscarriage etc.
Uterine Fibroids – Causes
Although the exact cause of uterine fibroids is not known; but they begin to form due to overgrowth of the cells of the muscular wall of uterus. After theirformation, growth is influenced by the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Diagnosis of Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids can be mistaken for pregnancy, ovarian tumors, inflammation of fallopian tubes etc. So a thorough evaluationis to be done to confirm the presence of fibroids with eitherone or more the following:
- Pelvic examination
- Trans-vaginal ultrasound
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Pelvic MRI
- Endometrial biopsy or laparoscopy
Treatment options for Uterine Fibroids
Most of the uterine fibroids are benign and remain asymptomatic. Treatment is required in 10 to 20 percent of women depending upon theirage, general health and severity and type of the disease.
- Drug Therapy: Mainly symptomatic treatment is given to the women torelive the discomfort.
- Oral contraceptives
- Intrauterine devices
- Iron supplements to treat anemia
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Hormonal therapy:Hormone therapy shrinks the fibroids and is generally done either before surgery or in woman who is expected to reach menopause soon.
- Surgery: In cases where all the other treatment modalities fail to relieve the symptoms, surgical procedures are performed, which may include:
- Hysteroscopic resection of fibroids
- Uterine artery embolization
- Endometrial Ablation
- Magnetic Resonance Guided Percutaneous Laser Ablation
- Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery
- Hysterectomy is the last treatment option and involves total removal of the uterus.
Treatment for Uterine Fibroids in India
India is the preferred medical tourism destination for the uninsured female residents of American and African countries. This is because most of the treatment modalities are prohibitively expensive in western countries.
India offers most affordable and advanced treatment modalities with no waiting period. The Indian gynecologists and laparoscopic surgeons are highly skilled and experienced to treat fibroids and any other disorder with perfection. Indian hospitals have world-class infrastructure and best in class technology for women care. The women friendly ambience in every department is especially created to make the patient feel comfortable and at home while undergoing any treatment.