Symtoms and precautions against fibroids

Symtoms and precautions against fibroids

People who have given birth appear to be at lower risk for uterine fibroids. Some studies suggest that whosoever uses oral conceptive have a lower risk, as well (source: National Women’s Health Resource Centre, in your guide to Uterine Health. Little is conclusively known, however, about why fibroids develop in some women and not in others.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROID?

Many women are unaware that they have fibroids because they do not have any symptoms. The most common symptoms of fibroid is heavy periods, painful periods or irregular periods also bleeding between periods feeling of fullness in the pelvic area (lower abdomen) urinating often, pain during sex, and lower back pain fibroids may also cause discomfort through pressure on the bowel or the bladder since both these organs lies close to the uterus. Some women can have reproductive problems, such as infertility, having more than more miscarriage, or having early onset of labor during pregnancy.

HOW DO I KNOW FOR SURE THAT I HAVE FIBROID?

Your healthcare provider may find out that you have fibroids when you see her or him for a regular pelvic exam (to check your uterus, ovaries and vagina). Often, a health care provider will describe how small or large the fibroid are by comparing the size to size of uterus would be if you are pregnant. For example you may be told that your fibroids have made your uterus the size it will be if you are 8 weeks pregnant. Your health care can do imaging tests, or test that create a picture of the inside of the body without surgery, in order to confirm that you have fibroids.These tests might include:
Ultrasound (which uses sound waves to produce the picture)
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI (which uses magnetic and radio waves to produce the picture).
X-rays (which use a form of radiation to see into the body and produces the pictures).
Cat Scan or CT (which makes many pictures of the body from different angles to provide a more complete image). Besides imaging tests, you also might need a surgery to know for sure if you have fibroids :
Laparoscopy is surgery with general anesthesia in which your doctor places a small tube with light inside your abdomen to see any fibroids.
Hysteroscopy is surgery in which your doctor inserts a long tube with a camera into your vagina and directly into the uterus to see any fibroid the uterus to see any fibroids. It also shows any growth of problem inside the uterus.

HOW ARE FIBORID TREATED, WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

The treatment for fibroids that is best for you will depend on many things –your symptoms and their effect on your life, the size of your fibroids, your age and your plans for pregnancy, and your expectations for treatment. As long as your fibroid do not cause symptoms, no treatment is necessary, and you may feel comfortable taking a “wait and see” approach. Your health care providers will check for the fibroid during your routine visits and see if they are growing. Occasional or mild symptoms can sometimes be managed simply by taking over the counter or prescription pain medication. For more severe symptoms, you have several non-surgical and surgical options to consider described below.

NON-SURGICAL OPTIONS.

Hormone Therapy – One way to reduce symptoms is by taking a type of medication called a Gn-RH (gonadotropin – releasing Hormone0 agonist. These hormones shrink fibroid by blocking estrogen production. Treatment is short term, usually not longer than 36 months, and the fibroid usually returns after treatment is discontinued. In addition, hormone therapy can have adverse side effects including those associated with induced menopause such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, irritability and depression. That is why these drugs are generally used only when a woman is close to already in menopause or to shrink the fibroid and decrease bleeding prior to surgery.

UTERINE ARTERY EMBOLIZATION.

This procedure is one of the newest non-surgical approaches to treating fibroids, but it is still experimental and their long-term results are unknown. During and embolization, the doctor usually one who specializes in radiology uses X-ray images to guide a thin tube (catheter) through an artery in your leg to the arteries in your uterus that delivers blood to the fibroids. Once the catheter is in place, the plastic into the uterine artery. Clots then forms around the particles, blocking blood flow to the fibroid. Without a blood supply, the fibroids shrink or disappear over time.

SURGICAL OPTIONS

Myomectomy – a Myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. It is a good option for women who want to maintain their fertility. A traditional myomectomy is done through a long, open incision in the abdomen. Some surgeon: perform myomectomies using less invasive techniques that let you heal quickly and produce minimal scarring. These include laparoscopic myomectomy (performed through tiny incisions in the abdomen) or hysteroscopy myomectomy (performed through the vagina and cervix with no incision). Ask your doctor whether these less in have invasion options may be appropriate for you. It is estimated that in 25-50 percent of women who had a myomectomy new fibroids may grow (source: Minkin MJ and wright Cv. The yale Guide to women’s reproductive Health. New Haven, CT: Yale university press; 2003:2005. ISBN: 0-300-09820-0). The process is also slightly more difficult to perform than a hysterectomy and can cause more blood loss. Other potential risks include infection, damage to vital organ and, in rare cases, perforation of the uterus.
Myomectomies are also associated with a high rate of adhesion formation. Adhesion consists of scar tissue that develops internally at the surgical site and can cause internal organs to bind to one another; they can sometimes cause pelvic pain and infertility. Modem surgical techniques can help to reduce adhesions, and surgeons can also place a barrier over the site to keep organs from becoming joined. The barrier gradually dissolves as you heal. Be sure to talk with your doctor prior to having a myomectomy about the steps he or she will take to keep adhesions from forming.

Myolysis – This is another experimental procedure still under study. It involves using lasers, electrical current or freezing to destroy fibroids during a laparoscopic procedure.

Hysterectomy – This is the surgical removal of the uterus, and is the only definite treatment for fibroids. A traditional hysterectomy is major, invasive surgery required general and anesthesia, a 3 to 6 stay in the hospital, and up to 6 weeks of recovery time. After a hysterectomy, you will no longer be able to become pregnant. If your ovaries are removed in addition to your uterus, you may experience the symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness irritability or depression unless estrogen replacement therapy begins soon after surgery.

Hysterectomy is a common treatment for fibroids but perhaps too common. Many of the hysterectomies performed each year may be necessary. For all these reason, it is important that you talk with your doctor about less invasive treatment options first. If you and your doctor ultimately decide that a hysterectomy is best for you, there are less invasive approaches to performing a hysterectomy that may lessen post – operative pain, recovery time and scarring compared to the traditional – “open” – approach.

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