A tumor (benign) that affects 50% of women during the fertile period, fibroids are one of the most common abnormalities that develop in adult women. The nodules appear in the uterus through an uncontrollable cell multiplication process. However, the size of the fibroids, the amount and the exact location vary in each organism.
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Despite being a tumor, fibroids are, in general, harmless to women’s health. The chances of these tumors turning into something malignant are very low and, when the fibroids do not present uncomfortable symptoms for the woman, there is also no need for treatment.
Problems arise when fibroids grow large enough to disturb and hinder a woman’s quality of life. In some cases, fibroids can press on the uterus and cause bloating in the abdominal area , even being mistaken for being overweight. In more severe cases, the nodules can cause anemia and impair female fertility .
Who is more likely to develop?
At least half of women in adulthood have fibroids in the womb, even though most have fibroids so small that they are insignificant. However, there are women who are more likely to develop nodules due to different factors:
- People with obesity problems
• Black women
• People with a family history of fibroids
The gene is one of the major contributing factors in the development of fibroids. Women who have a history of fibroids in their mother or sisters are more likely to develop the problem. In the case of black women, the cause does not yet have a definitive explanation, but it is believed to be another genetic factor, as fibroids are very common in women of African descent.
People with overweight are at high risk of developing due to the higher number of fat cells. These cells cause hormonal dysfunction and contribute to the formation of fibroids. Therefore, poor eating habits can also contribute to the diagnosis of the problem.
- Increased blood flow during menstruation
• Strong abdominal pain (cramps)
• Intestine functioning irregularly
• Discomfort during sexual activities
• Bleeding during non-menstrual periods
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Most women who have fibroids do not show any symptoms, as it is common for the nodules to form in a small amount and not grow large enough to cause discomfort and impair the routine. Therefore, women who have symptoms need to consult with the gynecologist and make a treatment, as the signs indicate that there is a large amount of fibroids or that they have grown enough to cause discomfort.
However, even if there is a need for treatment due to the number or size of the nodules, the chances of these fibroids becoming malignant tumors are still very small. It is common for this concern to arise in the majority of women who need to face treatment, but the chances of this happening are around 0.05%, which is a very low statistic to cause concern.
Finding out the presence of fibroids in the uterus is not difficult and a few tests such as ultrasound are enough for the gynecologist to make the diagnosis. However, there are four types of fibroids that are classified according to location and the type of fibroid interferes with the patient’s symptoms. Those who have nodules in the intrauterine walls, for example, may have more problems with severe colic, while those who have inside the uterus are more likely to develop anemia.
Regardless of the type of fibroid, the diagnosis will occur through the results of the exams and the doctor will be able to evaluate the best treatment according to the patient’s need. The test also reveals the specific problems for each case, whether it is an increase in the size of fibroids or a considerable increase in the number of nodules in the uterus.
Types of treatments
To treat fibroids it is necessary to check what the patient wants. In the case of older women who no longer want to have children, it is possible to have surgery to remove the uterus that completely solves the problem. However, if the woman still wants to get pregnant, it is possible to do other types of treatments, such as surgery for the removal of fibroids or embolization , which consists of the introduction of a catheter that penetrates a substance in the nodule and prevents its growth.
It is also possible to treat with medications such as contraceptives, this being the simplest method of treating fibroids. However, the remedies are not effective in eliminating fibroids, they only reduce symptoms. As fibroids are usually harmless, this method is the best option for women who just want to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms caused by the presence of nodules.