70% of women are at risk of developing a uterine myoma , otherwise known as a fibroid .
However, only 0.5% of these can turn into cancer. Uterine myomas can cause significant ailments and this should encourage women not to neglect regular checks by the gynecologist. This is why it is important to recognize the symptoms in order to identify them early.
What is uterine myoma?
The uterine fibroids are benign tumors whose diagnosis affects many women, even those who lead a healthy lifestyle and undergo regular gynecological check.
The causes that lead to the onset of myomas are not known . It is now known that there is a genetic predisposition. If, however, there is no certainty of the triggering causes, the ways in which they manifest and develop are well known.
The uterus is made up of several layers, one of which is called myometrium , inside which small nuclei grow (under the influence of female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone) that can transform into myomas.
Uterine myomas can be divided into:
- Subserosis , they are found on the surface of the uterus and are almost always asymptomatic.
- Intramural , they are located in the thickness of the uterine wall, affect the endometrium and cause significant bleeding, pain and in some cases infertility.
- Submucosis , they are found inside the cavity of the uterus and, like intramural, affect the endometrium and cause considerable bleeding, pain and in some cases infertility.
Who is most likely to develop uterine myoma?
Although they are more frequent between the ages of 45 and 55, uterine myomas can appear as early as the age of 35, as this type of benign tumor is characteristic of a woman’s fertile period.
Uterine myoma has a genetic component. If the mother has had a uterine fibroid there is a high probability that the daughter will develop one as well. The risk increases in the presence of obesity.
What are the symptoms of uterine myomas?
In 30% of cases, uterine myoma is asymptomatic and only a gynecological check-up can reveal it. When a uterine myoma is present, blood flow no longer reaches the uterus properly and this can cause intense pain and miscarriages.
The symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Pelvic pain
- Abundant menstruation
- Losses in the non-menstrual period
- Longer menstrual periods
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Feeling bloated and tired
- Weight gain
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Need to urinate frequently
What is the relationship between uterine myomas and pregnancy?
Among the fears of patients with uterine myoma, there is that of fertility. For women who undergo a myomectomy , therefore without the uterus being touched, it is possible to become pregnant after the operation. The presence of a fibroid, on the other hand, can be a cause of miscarriage.
According to specialists when the myoma is large, it could cause fertility problems or complications during pregnancy. When uterine fibroids exceed 4 centimeters in size, then they can be the cause of serious problems during pregnancy such as:
- Premature birth
- Pelvic pain
- Detachment of the placenta
How is uterine myoma treated?
The uterine fibroids little ones can be treated with drug therapy . If the myoma does not respond to therapy or if it is large in size, surgery is performed in most cases.
In particular, vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy involves the total removal of the uterus, representing a definitive solution to the clinical problem. Obviously, the decision to undergo this type of surgery is very delicate.
The myomectomy , however, is the least invasive option as part of the surgical solutions. In these cases, the single myoma is removed, while the uterus remains intact. With myomectomy, however, there is a risk that the fibroids will recur.
The need for less invasive therapy, combined with a woman’s desire not to undergo surgery, have led doctors and experts to seek alternative solutions: among these, there is an ever growing interest in embolization of the uterine arteries , a procedure percutaneous performed under local anesthesia and lasting about 60 minutes. The purpose is to involve a devascularization of the fibroid : the normal myometrium, in fact, will continue to receive a blood supply derived from the activation of collateral circulation (ovarian and vaginal) while the fibroid, having gone into necrosis, will tend to heal.
Which choice to make, among the many possibilities of intervention? The best option depends on many factors. Evaluate the severity of symptoms, pregnancy plans and your age, also relying on the advice of a good doctor. In short, before making a decision, consider the pros and cons, always in relation to your specific situation.