If you take a trip around the bustling streets of a city like Lagos, you would come across various sign boards on which people claim to have cures for fibroids. They claim the use herbs, concoctions, and other treatments. But are fibroids so easy to cure?
What exactly are fibroids?
The uterus, popularly called the womb, is made up of smooth muscles, which can increase in size and form non-cancerous outgrowth. These outgrowths are known as fibroids.
Causes of fibroids
The exact cause(s) of fibroids is not clear, but it is believed that estrogen, a hormone produced in the body of a woman throughout her reproductive life, contributes to their growth.
You may not know you have fibroids until you have a reason to see a doctor or do a scan. And when the symptoms show they manifest in increased menstrual blood flow and frequent urination (if they press on the bladder), depending on their size and location.
Large fibroids can distort the abdomen and make it appear big or irregular.
How to know if you have fibroids
The symptoms listed above may bring about a suspicion of fibroids, but only through a diagnosis can you confirm if you have them. By asking you about the symptoms and by performing a detailed physical examination and ultrasound scan, which shows the womb and surrounding structures, a doctor can tell if you have fibroids or not.
Fibroids cause Infertility?
Yes, fibroids can cause infertility when they are located in such a position where they prevent the sperm from meeting the egg or prevent the embryo from being implanted in the womb. However having fibroids doesn’t mean you are infertile.
It is extremely rare for a fibroid to transform into cancer. Fibroids are by their very nature benign (not harmful in effect).
Fibroids and getting pregnant
Fibroids can coexist with pregnancy. If the growing baby is not at any risk from the fibroid it is better to leave it.
Fibroids Surgery, a Must?
Fibroid treatments depend on many factors such as the size, location, presence of symptoms, and age of the woman. Sometimes, the doctor may decide to manage them conservatively, meaning he watches to see if symptoms would get better or worse.
He may also use hormonal drugs to them, but if the symptoms get worst, the doctor may perform a surgery called myomectomy, to remove only the fibroids, or hysterectomy, to remove the whole uterus.
When a woman approaches her menopause, where estrogen production reduces, fibroids are known to regress and reduce in size.
Fibroids may or may not regrow after treatment. However, removing the womb is definitive and depends on the woman’s wishes and doctor’s advice.