Uterine Fibroid: Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Uterine fibroid, also called fibroid tumour, is non-cancerous growth in uterus. These growths are common in reproductive age of female and most of the time, do not cause any symptoms. Size, shape position and number of fibroids vary with every woman. It also varies according to the age of the female.

What are uterine fibroid?

Medical term for uterine fibroid or fibroid tumour is Leiomyomas or myomas. These tumors can grow in any layer of the uterus. Sometime these fibroids may also appear in stem like structure (attached with thin layer to uterus and freely dangling in uterine cavity).

Some important points about fibroid are:

1. Fibroids are not cancerous. 2. You can have fibroids, but never know.
3. It is common in 20-50 yrs. of age group. 4. Fibroid can be one or multiple.
5. It can be very small and large both.  

Symptoms of fibroids:

Most of the time uterine fibroids are asymptomatic and accidentally diagnosed in routine pelvic examination or in pelvic ultrasound. But sometimes uterine fibroid may cause some problems also.

a.      Menstruation and fibroid-

  • Dysfunctional uterine bleeding- Bleeding from uterus other than normal menstruation bleeding is called as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB). Uterine fibroid causes abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • Heavy menstruation- Uterine fibroid increases the surface area of uterus which leads to excessive menstruation growth and heavy menstruation bleeding.
  • Dysmenorrhoea-Painful and heavy menses are two important symptoms of fibroids in uterus.

b.      Pain in uterine fibroid-

  • Lower abdomen pain- Lower abdomen pain or heaviness and discomfort are also common with symptomatic uterine fibroids.
  • Dyspareunia- Pain during or after sex may also present in fibroids.
  • Urination– Pain in urination or feeling of pressure while urinating is caused by fibroids.

c.       Anemia –

Fibroid in uterus causes anaemia due to heavy periods and abnormal bleeding in menstruation.

d.      Constipation-

Rectal piles or difficult bowel movement may be present due to pressure of fibroid size.

e.       Weakness

f.        Fatigue

So, uterine fibroid symptoms can be varying from minor ache to severe bleeding or severe anaemia. Thoroughly investigation and clinical examination is must.

Types of fibroids:

Fibroids are divided based upon their position in uterus muscles or layers.

  • Inner layer fibroid- Fibroid originated from tumors inner layer of uterus is known as submucosal fibroids. These fibroid bulges into uterine cavity.
  • Middle layer or intramural fibroids- These fibroids are found within the muscular layer of uterus.
  • Outer layer fibroids- This, also known as subserosal fibroid, grows outside of uterine cavity.

Uterine fibroids causes-

There are numerous hypotheses and still in research but what causes uterine fibroids is still a question of doubt. Researchers are still unclear about exact cause of it. Some of the hypotheses are:

  • Genetic causes- The Chromosomal structure of single fibroid cell differs from normal uterine cell.
  • Hormonal causes-Two female hormone estrogens and progesterone are responsible for normal uterine growth and shading. With unknown reason, fibroid tends to have more receptor for hormone response, that’s why uterus shows excessive growth in the form of uterus tumours.

Risk factors for uterine fibroids-

1. Reproductive age of women-

Uterine fibroids are uncommon before menarche and after menopause. After menopause, previous fibroid also tend to shrink on its own because hormonal level goes down after menopause and fibroids are very responsive to female hormones.

2. Pre-menopause-

2-3 years before the menopause, hormones level fluctuate considerably. So during this time uterine fibroid tend to grow very faster.

3. Hereditary –

Female with family history of fibroid are in risk. Percentage of risk increases with closerelative history. Women with obesity and diabetes have more risk.

4. Live birth and pregnancy-

Some studies suggest that female with 1-2 child birth has less chance to develop fibroid compared to female without pregnancy. Although it is still unclear that does pregnancy play any role in prevention of uterine fibroid or fibroid itself causes infertility?

Uterus Fibroids and pregnancy:

Many women have fibroid tumour which accidentally diagnosed during pregnancy ultrasound. About 60% of women do not suffer from any complication during pregnancy because of fibroids. Remaining may suffer slightly with abdominal cramps or pain and occasionally vaginal bleeding. Fibroids in pregnancy increase chance of miscarriage and premature birth up to some extent.

Diagnosis of uterine fibroid:

Pelvic examination by health care provider provides some information about size, shape and position of uterus. But still other tests and imaging for confirmation, which are as follows:

  • Ultrasound
  • MRI
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial biopsy

Complication of uterine fibroids:

  • Heavy bleeding may lead towards severe anaemia.
  • Pain- Severe pain either due to twisting of fibroid or due to nerve block from heavy fibroid initiate severe pain.
  • Urinary infection or urinary retention- Fibroid may lead toward severe urinary infection and sometime retention of urine ( unable to pass urine)
  • Cancer-Most of the time fibroid do not turn into cancer, but rarely they can. So regular check up is necessary.

Treatment of uterine fibroids-

Treatment of uterine fibroid depends upon severity conditions and possible complication. Iron, multivitamin supplements and hormonal tablets may be given to treat vaginal bleeding and anaemia.

The ideal treatment for uterine fibroid is “wait and watch”. As discussed earlier, most of the fibroid tend to shrink after menopause so there is no need to worry. Only supportive care and symptom management are the treatments needed.

You should also go for regular pelvic exam and ultrasound to check growth or shrinkage of fibroid, as most of the tumours shrink but some may show excessive growth and they need to be removed surgically.

Treatment for complicated uterine fibroid:

  • Hysteroscopy- In this procedure, only fibroid is surgically removed and uterus is saved.
  • Myomectomy- This is another procedure, where only fibroid is removed and uterus is saved.
  • Uterine artery embolization-Blood supply towards fibroid is permanently terminated which causes death of fibroid cells. This procedure is not very successful as human body cannot regrow new blood vessels.
  • Hysterectomy- In this process uterus is removed completely.

Ayurvedic treatment for fibroids:

According to Ayurveda, imbalance of hormones is caused by vitiated vyan vayu. Ayurveda divides vaat in its five types. One of them is vyan vayu. This vyan vayu is responsible for vitiate oestrogen and progesterone in body.

Second factor in formation of fibroid is apan vaat. Apan vaat is supposed to clear uterus every month during menstruation. Failure of it, enhances the growth of bad uterine cells.

Pachak pitt is resposible of the growth of body. Vitiated pachak pitt starts excessive and uncontrolled growth of fibroid.

Ayurveda medicine for treatment of fibroid:

  1. Kachanaar guggul
  2. yograjj guggul
  3. chandraprabha vati
  4. Kanchnarkwath
  5. Varunadikwath
  6. Vradhihar vati

Disclaimer –

Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. for any query or personal consultation according to your health condition Please Contact Us

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