If you are experiencing painful periods, a heavy flow, or constant pelvic pain, these could be the symptoms of fibroids. It is essential to visit a ynecologist and get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition.
In this article, a renowned gynecologist in Mumbai, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai from the Budget Fertility Center, discusses fibroids.
What are Fibroids?
Fibroids or uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors inside a woman’s uterus wall. These fibroids can get very large and cause a lot of abdominal pain and heavy periods or show no symptoms at all.
Most fibroids don’t show symptoms, so 50 to 80% of women don’t even know that they have fibroids. Usually, many fibroids can be treated with medications.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai is a renowned gynecologist in Mumbai with over 35 years of experience treating women with gynecological issues. He is also an IVF specialist and known as one of the best IVF doctors in Kolkata.
Types of Fibroids
A type of fibroid depends on its location in or in the uterus, says Dr. Pai.
- Intramural fibroids: The most common types of fibroids. These are found within the uterus wall. These fibroids may grow larger and can stretch your womb.
- Subserosal fibroids: Fibroids formed on the outside of your uterus, known as a serosa. If they grow larger, your uterus can look bigger on either side.
- Pedunculated fibroids: Subserosal fibroids could develop a stem-like structure supporting the tumor. These are known as pedunculated fibroids.
- Submucosal fibroids: Tumors formed in the middle muscle layer of your uterus. These are not as common compared to the other tumors.
According to the gynecologist in Mumbai, Dr. Pai, the symptoms of the fibroids will depend on the size, location, and number of fibroids. If the tumor is tiny or you are going through menopause, you may not have any symptoms.
The symptoms of fibroids may include:
- Heavy bleeding during or between your menstrual cycles that has blood clots
- Pain in the lower back or pelvis
- A menstrual cycle lasting longer than usual
- Swelling of abdomen
According to Dr. Pai, it is not clear why fibroids form, but a few factors may affect their creation:
- Hormones: Your ovaries produce hormones called progesterone and estrogen. They increase the formation of fibroids by causing the uterine lining to renew throughout each menstrual cycle.
- Genetics: If your female family members like your mother, grandmother, or sister have fibroids, you may also have them.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy increases progesterone and estrogen production. According to one of the best IVF doctors in Kolkata, Dr. Pai, fibroids can overgrow in your pregnancy.
- Extracellular Matrix (ECM): ECM is the material making the cells stick together. It increases fibroids and makes them fibrous.
You are at greater risk of developing fibroids if you have one or more of the following:
- Family history
- Deficiency of Vitamin D
- Being overweight
- Age 30 or older
- Overconsumption of alcohol
Your gynecologist will advise you to get a pelvic exam. This is used to check the uterus’s size, shape, and condition. They may also advise you to get other tests like:
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound exam uses sound waves of high frequency to produce images of your uterus on a screen, allowing your doctor to see the internal structures and if any fibroids are present.
- MRI: This test uses radio waves and magnets to take detailed images of your internal organs.
- CT Scan: CT scan uses X-ray images to get images of your internal organs through different angles.
- Hysteroscopy: During this procedure, your gynecologist will use a device known as a scope, a thin and flexible tube with a camera on one end to look at your fibroids. This scope is passed through your vagina to your uterus.
The treatment of fibroids will depend on the following factors:
- The size of the fibroids
- Location of fibroids
- Number of fibroids
- What symptoms are you experiencing
Most of the fibroids don’t show any symptoms. So they don’t need to be treated, says Dr. Pai
If the fibroids are showing symptoms and causing complications, you can visit your gynecologist to get treatment for them.
Over-the-counter medications can be used to treat your pain and discomfort due to fibroids.
Sometimes, your gynecologist can recommend birth control pills to treat the symptoms.
If your fibroids are too big, your doctor may suggest you get surgery for them. A wide incision in the abdomen is made to reach the uterus and remove the fibroids during an abdominal myomectomy.
Laparoscopic surgery can also be conducted by inserting surgical tools and a camera through a few tiny incisions. Fibroids may reappear after surgery.
Fibroids don’t necessarily show symptoms. You may have fibroids and don’t even realize it. It is essential to talk to your gynecologist if you do see any signs and get regular checkups so that your gynecologist can know if there is any problem with your reproductive system.
You can visit Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a gynecologist in Mumbai, for further queries and treatment.