Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow on the walls of a woman’s womb. A medical name for it is ‘leiomyoma’ or ‘myoma’. Ther can be a single or multiple fibroid growths on the uterine wall. These growths vary in size. Many studies show that African and African-American women are at more risk of having fibroids. Overweight or obese women are at high risk also. The threat has also been known to increase with age.
Causes of Fibroids
It is not clear what causes fibroids, but extensive research has linked it to so many things.
- Most medical articles claim that women who eat less green vegetables are at a higher risk of developing fibroids.
- Early puberty has also been listed as a possible trigger of fibroids as the hormones progesterone and estrogen build up early in the body.
- The female hormones induce the lining of the walls of the uterus to shed and rebuild, encouraging fibroids to grow.
- It may be hereditary as most women who have someone with fibroids in their family, often develop fibroids themselves later in life.
- Even pregnancy is a factor because hormone secretion kicks into overdrive during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Fibroids
- Painful, heavier, and longer periods
- Painful urination
- Enlarged abdomen
- Pain during intercourse
- Pelvic and lower back pain
- Pressure on the bladder
- Fertility issues
The existence and/or severity of these symptoms depend on the number and size of the growth. It also depends on the reproductive age of the woman.
Fibroids without symptoms may not be a cause for alarm or concern. However, if there are symptoms, some medications can be used to manage the situation. These drugs are prescribed by doctors. Most of them are expensive and come with obvious side effects. Nevertheless, many women seem to tolerate them well. They cannot be used extensively or beyond six months because of the side effects. The disadvantage of most of these medications is that the fibroids grow back when the drugs are discontinued.
Laparoscopy is a surgical method used to remove fibroids from the womb. This is the ideal choice if the woman still desires to give birth or has particular needs to retain her womb. Unfortunately, fibroids might grow back after a laparoscopy. When that happens and any other method fails, the womb is removed completely by a process called hysterectomy.
There are some new non-invasive methods of treating fibroids today. Some high-frequency sound waves are used to destroy the growths. Some other methods use electric current to freeze the growths. These methods are best explained by doctors and surgeons.
Other ways people use to manage fibroids are yoga and acupuncture. Adopting healthier eating habits and substituting junk or high-calorie foods for vegetables and nuts is another good option.
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