UTERINE FIBROIDS-DID YOU KNOW?


uterine fibroid


UTERINE FIBROIDS.


Do you experience pain during sexual intercourse, back pain, pelvic pain, abdominal pain or pressure, painful menstruation, prolonged menstruation of passing large clots of blood, changes in bladder and bowel pattern etc?You probably are wondering what the heck is going on.
Even though heavy bleeding is not always due to fibroids, when it is, it is usually associated with fibroids that grow into the womb (submucous). Although it is unclear exactly why fibroids cause bleeding, it may be that they stretch the lining of the womb, creating more lining to be shed during a period.
Uterine Fibroids are a very common non-cancerous growth that develop in the muscular wall of the Uterus(womb) occuring during the reproductive years (child bearing years) of a woman.

Fibroids range in size, from that of a bean to as large as a melon. In most cases there aremore than one fibroid in the Uterus. Twenty to forty percent of women age 35 and older haveuterine fibroids of a significant size.
African American women are at a higher risk for fibroids: as many as 50 percent have fibroids of a significant size. Uterine fibroids are the most frequent cause for hysterectomy(removal of the womb) in premenopausal women and, therefore, are a major public health issue.
Classification Of Uterine Fibroids
There are four types of uterine fibroids
1) Intramural fibroids: This is the most common type located within the inner lining of the uterus(womb).
It is known to cause lower abdominal pain, heavier menstraul bleeding, pelvic pain, back pain or the generalized pressure women experience.
2)Submucosal fibroids: These are fibrids that develop under the lining of the uterus.It is the least common type of fibroid but causes the most problems.Even a very small size of submucosal fibroid can cause very heavy bleeding and prolonged periods
3)Subserous Fibroids: These form at the outer covering of the womb expanding outward through the wall, giving the uterus a knobby look. It does not affect menstrual flow but however causes pelvic
pain, back pain and generalized pressure.
4)Cervical fibroids: Cervical fibroids grow in the wall of the cervix (neck of the womb) and are difficult to remove without damaging the surrounding area. If you have fibroids, you may 
have one or many. You may also have one type of fibroid or a number of different types.
WHAT CAUSES UTERINE FIBROIDS TO GROW
-Age factor: Although the exact cause of fibroids is unknown, they seem to be influenced by estrogen. This would explain why they appear during a woman's middle years (when estrogen levels are high) and stop growing after the menopause (when estrogen levels drop).
-Overweight and obesity- women who are obese and overweight are at higher risk of developing fibroids compared to women of normal weight
-Early Menarche-starting of menstruation early
-Delayed conception
-Late menopause
-Family history

If you do experience any of these symptoms, or know of someone who does,chances are you are wondering what the way forward is, i'll be writing on the treatment of uterine fibroid in my next post. Kindly stay tuned.

By Dr(Mrs) Latifah Badmus.

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