Uterine fibroids refer to noncancerous growths in the womb that usually form during a woman’s childbearing years. Also known as myomas or leiomyomas, fibroids in the uterus never turn into cancer.
Several women develop uterine fibroids at some point in their lives. However, you may not find that out since they usually have no symptoms. Therefore, once you see certain signs, you must visit the best gynaecologist in Hyderabad who might recommend a few tests.
Here are the signs, causes and risk factors of uterine fibroids.
Women with fibroids often don’t develop any signs. Those that have symptoms, these can be influenced by the number, size and location of fibroids. Common signs are:
- Menses lasting more than 1 week
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Frequent urination
- Leg pain or backache
Occasionally, a fibroid starts dying and causing acute pain due to outgrowing its blood supply.
If you see the above signs and symptoms, see the best gynaecologist in Hyderabad right away.
The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unknown. Clinical experience and research point to the factors below:
Genetic changes: Several fibroids in the uterus have genetic changes different from the ones in normal uterine muscle cells.
- Hormones: Progesterone and oestrogen, the hormones which stimulate the formation of the uterine lining during every menstrual cycle to prepare you for pregnancy, apparently favour the growth of fibroids.
- Other growth factors: Fibroid growth can be affected by substances that help in maintaining tissues like an insulin-like growth factor.
- Extracellular matrix (ECM): It helps cells stick together. In fibroids, ECM is increased which makes them fibrous. ECM also causes biological mutations in the cells since it stores growth factors.
According to doctors, uterine fibroids grow from a stem cell in the myometrium (smooth muscular uterine tissue). The cell divides again and again, finally creating a hard rubbery mass, different from the surrounding tissue.
The fibroids may grow fast or slowly or be the same size. Some undergo growth spurts while others might shrink by themselves.
Several fibroids present during pregnancy, reduce in size or disappear afterwards as the uterus returns to its regular size.
Besides reproductive age, here are some common risk factors for fibroids in uterus:
- Genetics: If your mother or sister had uterine fibroids, you have a higher risk of developing the same.
- Other factors: Below are some other factors that can influence the development of fibroids:
- Starting menstruation at an early age
- Deficiency of Vitamin D in the body
- A diet lower in dairy, fruits and green veggies, and higher in red meat
- Drinking alcohol
Medical experts believe that uterine fibroids can’t be prevented fully. The best way to prevent them is to take vitamins and supplements regularly, exercise adequately, maintain a healthy lifestyle, ditch alcohol and spend time in nature. If you develop any of the symptoms discussed above, don’t hesitate to speak to the best gynaecologist in Hyderabad to get recommendations for any diagnostic tests and treatment options.