Fibroids

What are Fibroids?

Fibroids of the uterus are benign (non-cancerous) growths within the wall of the uterus. A woman may have a single fibroid or multiple fibroids and they may be located anywhere in the uterus (exterior or interior or within the wall). They are usually associated with a heavy menstrual flow, severe cramping, pelvic pressure, fertility, and pregnancy-related issues.

How Do Fibroids Affect Fertility?

The implications of the uterine fibroids on fertility are uncertain. The exact mechanism of fibroids causing infertility is less clear but it is thought that it may prevent embryo implantation by distorting the uterine cavity.

What Are Polyps?

Uterine polyps are growths attached to the inner wall of the uterus and protruding into the uterine cavity. Overgrowth of cells in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) leads to the formation of uterine polyps. The sizes of uterine polyps range from a few millimeters — no larger than a sesame seed — to several centimeters — golf ball sized or larger.

They are attached to the uterine wall by a large base or a thin stalk. You can have one or many uterine polyps. They usually stay contained within your uterus, but occasionally, they may slip down through the opening of the uterus into your vagina.

How Do Polyps Affect Fertility?

Uterine polyps may disrupt the lining of the uterus (the endometrium). They may even reduce blood flow in parts of the endometrial lining. This disruption could possibly prevent a fertilized embryo from implanting in the endometrial lining.

The polyps could also cause a miscarriage after the embryo has implanted. There is evidence to show that removing uterine polyps does boost fertility in previously infertile women.

Causes of Uterine Fibroids

Several risk factors cause the growth of uterine fibroids. These are:

Obesity


Childlessness


Early start of menstruation


Family history of fibroids


Begin menopause at a late age



Symptoms of Fibroids

The most common symptoms of fibroids are:

prolonged periods


constipation


heavy or painful periods


anemia due to heavy or prolonged bleeding


reproductive issues, such as infertility, miscarriage, and preterm labor


spotting


feeling a mild abdominal pressure


frequent urination


painful sex


low back pain



Diagnosing Fibroids

The doctor will perform a pelvic exam to check for benign fibroids.


An ultrasound test will confirm that the growths are fibroids



Treatment for Uterine Infertility

Fertility Evaluation Test

Based on one’s individual experience with uterine fibroids and its severity, the doctor will prescribe that the couple undergo a fertility evaluation test.

Surgery Options

Treatment options for this condition include different kinds of surgery, such as myomectomy, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, and laparotomy.

Other Options

Other treatment options that reduce the size of fibroids include electrical energy, ultrasound, medication, and embolization. This reduction of size is usually temporary and may breed more fibroids.

Pain Medication

These medicines help manage the pain and discomfort of fibroids. They include medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Birth Control

Birth control helps control heavy bleeding, menstrual cramps, and spotting between periods. Suitable options are oral contraceptive pills, injections, IUDs and intravaginal contraception.

Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (Gnrh) Agonists

This medication can be taken via a nasal spray or as an injection. They help to shrink a fibroid before surgery to enable easy removal. However, they can grow back after a while if you stop taking this medication.

Iron supplements

Women with anemia due to excessive bleeding may be given iron supplements.

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