Uterine fibroids are common medical conditions affecting most women. They are benign tumors developing within the uterine wall. People with fibroids might experience external symptoms as well. Therefore, fibroids are often identified only during repetitive pelvic examinations. Depending on their location, fibroid tumors can be classified as submucosal, subserosal, and intramural.
What are intramural fibroids?
These are the most common kinds of uterine fibroids, found in more than seventy percent of women. Unlike subserosal fibroids that occur on the outer surface of the uterus, intramural fibroids manifest within the uterine walls.
Intramural fibroids start as tiny nodules on the muscular lining of the uterus. But as time goes by, intramural fibroids might expand inwards, resulting in severe disruption and elongation of the internal uterine cavities. Sometimes, these tumors might grow outwards to form subserosal fibroids.
Intramural fibroids are often asymptomatic, but for some women, they might cause problems like:
- Constipation and bloating
- Heavier and frequent menstrual bleeding
- Abnormally large abdomen
- Pelvic pain
- More frequent urination
- Back pain
- Lower abdominal heaviness and pressure
- Rare cases of uterine hemorrhage
- Pain during intercourse
Do intramural fibroids cause infertility?
Generally, intramural fibroids don’t have an influence on pregnancy or fertility. Nevertheless, in about three percent of women, these fibroids can trigger infertility. Women having numerous intramural fibroids or extremely large fibroids might find it difficult conceiving.
Intramural fibroids can stop the sperm from swimming into the uterine cavity, especially when the fibroids are situated on the cervix. These tumors can sometimes enlarge the cavities of the uterus, thereby elevating the distance that the sperm needs to move to reach the woman’s fallopian tubes. Again, intramural fibroids might influence the ability of the uterus to contract, and this directly impacts on sperm migration as well as ovum transportation.
Additionally, intramural fibroids can inhibit the embryo’s implantation, cutting down blood supply towards the endometrium, and completely distorting the structure of the endometrium. Even if implantation has successfully taken place, intramural fibroids can still disrupt the growth of the fetus. Uterine fibroids often prolong the pregnancy proceeds. Because of this, there’s a struggle for adequate space between intramural fibroids and the growing baby. This struggle can either trigger developmental impairment on the unborn child or might even cause miscarriages.
Treatment Options for Intramural Fibroids
Intramural fibroids that don’t interfere with pregnancy or fertility should be left untouched. Nevertheless, if the fibroids are enlarged, treatment may be necessary to suppress the symptoms triggered by them. Intramural fibroids are often treated by the use of three forms of surgical treatments:
- Hysterectomy - a procedure that seeks to remove the entire uterus.
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE) - destruction of the tumors that involves the injection of polyvinyl alcohol beads into the uterine arteries. This is often facilitated by the use of a catheter, which blocks blood flow into the intramural fibroids.
- Myomectomy - abdominal surgery for the removal of intramural fibroids.
Presently, effective medications that can permanently heal these fibroids aren’t available. Therefore, surgical removal is one of the most reliable treatment options for intramural fibroids.
If you’re experiencing symptoms similar to those associated with intramural fibroids, you may have to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis. Be sure not to take any medications without the guidance of a medical practitioner.