Commonly occurring benign growths that can cause a variety of different symptoms
Fibroids may be diagnosed by clinical examination and ultrasound scan and occasionally MRI. Treatment options will depend on your symptoms, age and fertility wishes. These may include hysteroscopic resection, myomectomy, uterine artery embolization and in severe cases, hysterectomy.
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are innocent growths that develop from the muscle tissue of the uterus. They can vary in size from 1cm to 10cms, and are growths that can occur within the uterus or on the side, or outside of the cervix. A woman may have one fibroid or many and they can remain very small for a long time and suddenly grow rapidly, or grow slowly over a number of years. Mr Aldrich will be able to accurately diagnose if you have fibroids, and assess whether they are causing presenting symptoms such as:
Period problems can present in many ways. Sometimes they become longer, or become more frequent, or you can suffer from heavy menstrual periods, sometimes with the passage of clots. Of note, very heavy periods can lead to anaemia. You may also experience menstrual cramps or get vaginal bleeding in between periods.
You may feel a fullness above the pubic bone and this can be caused by an enlarged uterus or ovaries. Large or multiple Uterine Fibroids may commonly present in this way.
Fibroids are usually not painful but they can cause pressure symptoms such as heaviness or fullness in lower abdomen, backache, difficulty urinating or increased urinary frequency, constipation, rectal pressure/pain, difficult bowel movements etc.
Women with large fibroids may feel heaviness or pressure in their lower abdomen or pelvis. Often this is described as a vague discomfort rather than a sharp pain. Sometimes, the enlarged uterus makes it difficult to lie face down, bend over or exercise without discomfort.
Infertility or sub-fertility may occur in cases where a woman has fibroids. Fibroids may distort the shape of the uterus which can prevent fertilisation or implantation.
Fibroids may be associated with pain if they undergo degeneration (breakdown) or torsion (twisting), or in rare cases if they undergo cancerous change, may be associated with rapid enlargement, pain and irregular bleeding.