1. What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids develop from the muscles of the uterus. Almost in all cases they are non-cancerous. They may have different sizes or locations, either inside the uterus, between the walls of the uterus, on the outer lining of the uterus or are attached to the uterus by a stem like structure. They may be present as a single fibroid, or there may be many at a time.
2. What are the signs and symptoms to be managed in uterine fibroids?
Not all women having uterine fibroids will have symptoms. The following symptoms may be seen in some women: heavy and painful bleeding; a feeling of fullness of lower abdomen; frequent urination; painful sex; infertility; lower back pain; and complications during pregnancy and labour.
3. What factors can lead to uterine fibroids?
The exact cause for the occurrence and growth of fibroids in not known. However, the following factors may lead to uterine fibroids: genetic: it may run in the family; hormonal: due to an imbalance in the hormones; ethnic origin: they are more common in African Americans.
4. How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?
The following diagnostic tests are done: pelvic examination; uterine examination to feel size of the fibroid; sonography of uterus; MRI scan of the uterus; X-ray scan; CT scan; hysterosalpingogram: x-ray contrast dye is injected in the uterus and take x-ray images; and sonohysterogram: water is injected in the uterus and take sonography like images.
5. Are there any therapeutic measures for uterine fibroids?
The following therapeutic measures are available for treating fibroids: low dose birth control pills; injections, sprays of hormones; hormones in the form of intrauterine devices implanted in uterus or through nasal sprays; surgery to remove either the fibroids or the entire uterus; and surgery to block the blood supply to the fibroids to stop their growth.