Fibroids are unusual growths that develop in the uterine walls of most women. Although the exact cause isn’t known, several factors are believed to be responsible for the condition. For instance, hormonal changes and family history have proven to be the commonest culprits.
Types of Fibroids
Several forms of fibroids can attack different locations of the pelvis or uterus. The types of fibroids are:
- Intramural Fibroids: this is the most common kind of fibroids. It appears within the endometrium lining of the uterus. Intramural fibroids might become larger and even stretch to your womb.
- Subserosal Fibroids: this type of fibroids form on the external surface of your uterus known as the serosa. They might grow extremely large causing your womb to look bigger on one side.
- Pedunculated Fibroids: are formed when subserosal tumors develop a stem.
- Submucosal Fibroids: these tumors grow on the inner lining of the uterus, which is called the myometrium. However, these aren’t common types of fibroids, but in case they happen, they might cause detrimental bleeding and make it impossible to conceive.
What Causes Fibroids?
It’s unclear why fibroids occur, but numerous factors might influence their formation. They include:
- Hormones: The ovaries are responsible for producing estrogen and progesterone. These reproductive hormones trigger the internal walls of the uterus to regenerate during every menstrual cycle and might stimulate the development of fibroids.
- Family History: Fibroids can run in the family. For instance, if your mother, grandmother, or sister has a long history of fibroids, you might also experience it at one point of your life.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy accelerates the production of progesterone and estrogen in the body. Therefore, fibroids develop and grow more rapidly in pregnant women.
Risk Factors for Fibroids
The following risk factors increase the susceptibility of women to fibroids:
- Being overweight or obese
- Belonging to the African-American ethnicity
- Being over 30 years of age
- A family history of the condition
Symptoms Associated with Fibroids
Symptoms vary depending on the location, size, and intensity of the tumors. If the tumors you’re experiencing are quite small, or if you’re undergoing menopause, you might not have any visible symptoms. Fibroids can decrease during or after menopause. Some symptoms associated with menopause are:
- Increased urination
- Severe menstrual cramping
- Heavy bleeding
- Swelling or inflammation of the abdomen
- Abdominal or pelvic pains
- Excessive pressure or fullness of the lower abdomen
- Too much pain during sexual intercourse
- Prolonged menstrual periods
If you think that the symptoms you’re experiencing are related to menopause, it would be good to consult a professional provider for a confident diagnosis. Treating the right illness is far much better in alleviating your symptoms.
Moreover, you’ll need to consult a gynecologist for a detailed pelvic examination. This test is performed to establish the shape, condition, and size of your uterus. Other additional tests can also be undertaken. These include:
- Ultrasound - where swift sound waves are used to generate internal images of your uterine wall.
- Pelvic MRI tests - produce in-depth imaging pictures of the pelvic organs, uterus, and ovaries.
- Hysteroscopy - checks the outer surface of the uterine lining also referred to as the myometrium.