Fibroids in Uterus

Archive for the ‘Fibroid Complications’ Category

Degenerating Fibroid

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A uterine fibroid, also known as leiomyoma or myoma, starts out as a single muscle cell in the wall of the uterus. Over time, it slowly starts growing in size and becomes a fibroid tumor composed of muscle and fibrous tissue, giving it a firm texture. Fibroids can be microscopic in size or grow to be larger than a melon. They are likely to affect women over their 30’s. Fibroids are usually not cause for alarm because they are not cancerous. In a few cases though, they become harmful to the body due to their abnormal growth. An example of such cases is the degenerating fibroid.

The most common symptom of fibroid degeneration is pain. The entire process occurs when a fibroid grows to a very large size that the blood vessels supplying it with oxygen and nutrients can no longer do their job. In other words, the fibroid outstrips its own blood supply. When this happens, the tumor will start to degenerate from the inside because the muscle tissues that comprise it die upon oxygen deprivation. The pain is concentrated on the site of the fibroid and can last for several days to weeks. Typical degeneration is called hyaline degeneration and is present in over 60% of fibroids.

There is a special case of deterioration which is hemorrhagic, commonly called “red degeneration”. This typically happens to pregnant women in their middle weeks. In this case, the excess estrogen produced by the pregnancy causes the fibroid to grow too rapidly for the blood flow to support it. The vessels around the fibroid start to congest and swell, turning the center of the fibroid soft and red. Aside from pelvic pain, red degeneration can cause fever, stomach pains and contractions in pregnant women. Perhaps the only advantage of red degeneration is that it is the only kind of fibroid degeneration that can be identified by MRI in a straightforward manner.

If this happens, women are advised to consult their doctor right away. Because there is basically no known certain cause of fibroids, there is no way to stop a degenerating fibroid when a woman is pregnant. Performing surgery is out of the question because there is a huge risk of severe bleeding during pregnancy. Presently, treatment consists of pain medication or medication to stop contractions. The patient may experience bleeding, but eventually it passes and does not harm the baby at all. It is also advisable to visit one’s doctor for advice on post-pregnancy care.

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Written by amy

July 6th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Fibroids After Menopause

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A fibroid starts as a single smooth muscle cell in the wall of the uterus. Eventually, for unknown reasons, it will develop into a non-cancerous tumor on the muscular wall of the womb and can vary greatly in size. Fibroids are not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, they appear in one out of four women and typically develop between the ages of 30 and 50. To this day, there is no known definite cause for fibroids. What researchers have come up with is a relationship between fibroids and hormonal, genetic and environmental factors. Based on these studies, there is a decrease in growth of fibroids after menopause.

This can be explained by the hormonal factors affecting fibroid growth. Research based on actual cases shows that whenever the body experiences high levels of estrogen, fibroids tend to swell and increase their size. On the other hand, when there is a decrease of estrogen (such as what occurs during menopause), fibroids stop growing. In some cases, they even start to shrink once menopause starts and eventually they disappear.

However, post-menopausal fibroids still do occur. Many factors predict the probability of fibroids shrinking or disappearing after menopause. One of these factors is the effect of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT). The purpose of HRT is to continue estrogen dominance, which means that uterine fibroids continue to thrive under the conditions. So for women who are using HRT, fibroids are likely to remain, compared to women who aren’t taking HRT.

Recent developments however have offered a way for women to counteract the lingering presence of fibroids and at the same time continue taking HRT. This method proposes the use of natural progesterone which helps create conditions that promote the shrinking of fibroids. Although this is too recent a discovery to produce conclusive evidence, the results so far have been promising.

HRT increases the likelihood that fibroids will remain in the uterus. However, not taking HRT is not a guarantee that fibroid tumors are going to shrink and disappear during menopause. In rare cases, fibroids still develop in women who have gone through menopause already. Because the phenomenon is a rarity, very little information about it is available. Various theories suggest that fibroids after menopause are a result of hormonal ratios, rather than the volume of estrogen alone.

In conclusion, fibroids do not always disappear during menopause and post-menopause. But without HRT and with added progesterone treatment, there is a high possibility that ones fibroids will shrink and eventually disappear.

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Written by amy

July 3rd, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Can Fibroids Cause Weight Gain?

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A fibroid starts as a single smooth muscle cell on the wall of the uterus. For unknown reasons, it starts to grow over time (usually during the onset of puberty when menstruation starts) and evolves into a bumpy mass on the uterine wall. Though it is called a fibroid tumor, it is actually not cancerous and can range greatly in size. Although fibroids are prevalent in women all over the world, there has been no exact determined cause for them. One of the most common questions that women ask about fibroids is: can fibroids cause weight gain?

Because a fibroid tumor can be as small as a grape seed and grow to the size of watermelon, it is not unusual for it to cause additional weight. Usually, the enlarged abdomen can be mistaken for weight gain or even pregnancy. However, cases wherein fibroids grow to a very large size are rare, and they can be treated with hysterectomy.

Fibroids do not necessarily cause you to gain fat. There is very limited evidence on the direct effects of diet and food intake on fibroid growth. There is, however, a confirmed relationship between fibroid growth and hormone levels in the body, especially estrogen. Research based on actual cases show that whenever the body experiences high levels of estrogen (such as during pregnancy), fibroids tend to swell. But since hormone concentration and activity in the blood are affected by diet, food intake which is low in fat and high in fiber can reduce hormone levels. Following this hormone decrease, fibroids also tend to shrink or stop growing.

Several nutritional factors have been found to affect increased fibroid growth. The first of these is red meat consumption, wherein several studies suggest that there is a 70% greater chance of developing fibroids for women who eat more than one serving of red meat per day, compared to women who eat less. Conversely, women who have vegetarian diets or at least those who eat more than one serving of vegetables per day have 50% lower risk.

A study conducted on the relationship between fibroids and weight gain revealed that a greater number of women with fibroids are extremely overweight. Women with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 20 had the least risk of fibroids compared to those with a BMI of 20-22.4 (34% increased risk). Those who had a BMI of 27.5-29.9 displayed the maximum risk, 47%. Surprisingly, risk levels decreased to 20% for women in the obese category.

So, can fibroids cause weight gain? By looking at the evidence, it is unclear whether fibroids cause the weight gain, or weight gain increases the risk of fibroids. At the very most, what we have at the moment is a relationship between the two, unless researchers come up with more evidence on the matter.

Written by amy

July 2nd, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Fibroids And Pregnancy

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Fibroid is associated to women’s health and pregnancy.  Fibroids found in the uterine cavity among women are known as uterine fibroids.  The size comes in different measurements starting to one centimeter up to as much as 15 centimeters in length.  Although they are usually non-cancerous tumors, however, the presence of uterine fibroids should be given thought to seek medical advice, for there are instances that uterine fibroids are perilous.

Some women lack information about the possibility and occurrence of uterine fibroids during pregnancy.  Prenatal check-ups should be encouraged and be given always priority because screening can help in the detection of uterine fibroids during the period of pregnancy.  This can be done with pelvic examination or ultrasound examination.  Though uterine fibroids are reported as typically harmless but it would still be better to take an action than do nothing at all.  Pregnancy is crucial in the part of the woman and therefore optimum health should always be given an utmost significance.  Prevention still is better than cure.

In usual cases, uterine fibroids and pregnancy are directly proportional.  Uterine fibroids multiply well in number or size during pregnancy, even if she doesn’t have fibroids prior to pregnancy.  An Obstetrician-Gynecologist takes a close watch on this and monitoring is in regular basis.

Uterine fibroids are also known as myomas.  There are three types of uterine fibroids namely, intramural, subserosal, and submucosal.  The most common is the intramural.  This is found inside the walls of the uterine tissue.  Subserosal is found outside the uterus, and the least common is the submucosal which is found inside the uterus.

The etiology of uterine fibroids is still unclear.  Readings have claimed that fibroids can be inherited and/or as a result of hormonal changes particularly the estrogen and progesterone.  The hormones stimulate cell growth to become fibroids.  Uterine fibroid is either symptomatic or asymptomatic.  However, huge fibroids can obviously cause one to feel very uncomfortable such as pain during sexual activity, having prolonged monthly periods, heavy bleeding due to the sloughing off of the uterine wall including the large fibroids, constipation, or pelvic tenderness.

Risks of uterine fibroids and pregnancy are miscarriage and preterm labor.  Complications may also include postpartum hemorrhage, fibroids are highly-vascular and if being pushed by too much pressure as in the case of normal vaginal delivery can cause great fibroid irritation hence too much blood is loss, and this is detrimental to women’s health.

Another is the obstructed labor.  Uterine fibroids may grow largely because of hormones and afterwards obstruct the birth canal.  Uterine fibroids can cause malpresentation.  Fibroids may force the baby to change position inside the uterus.  In this case, Caesarian section is the best resolution.

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Written by amy

June 28th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Fibroids and Back Pain

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Fibroids and back pain go together and usually it is felt by women. Out of 4 females, 3 experience uterine fibroids during their reproductive years. However, not every one of them would feel the symptoms nor would they need medical attention. Frequent symptoms include back pain.

Uterine fibroids are single cells reproduced inside the uterus’ muscle tissue that forms mass. This mass is pale and turns rubbery when touched. The cells have different sizes, with the smallest the size of a seed and the largest as big as a grapefruit. This can disfigure the uterus and it causes pain when it reaches the back or the rib cage.

Fibroids are due to several reasons. They may be because of hormones in the body or any other chemicals. It may also be inherited. Recent studies say that fibroids are connected to the insulin system of a woman.

Fibroids and back pain happen when the tumor becomes big. The location of the fibroids can also result to such pain which starts at the lower back and goes to either or both of the legs. When the tumor gets pressed to the nerves of the spine, this also results to the pain. It can also cause constipation when it presses the rectum.

Treating fibroid tumors would depend on its severity and what the patient desires. When it creates back pain which would hinder daily activities, one should take pain relievers. Surgery is the last option. The good news is that these are not cancerous and they will only become a threat to sufferers if complications arise such as extreme bleeding.

The back pain from this condition is also not dangerous although it can be incapacitating. If a woman reaches her menopause stage, the symptoms go away. Doctors usually observe the patient before, during and after the treatment they give. It is advisable for fibroids sufferers who experience severe pain to see a physician immediately.

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Written by amy

June 23rd, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Fibroid Complications

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Fibroid, also known medically as leimyoma uteri is a benign tumor that consists mainly of muscular fibrous tissue, forming in the muscle of the uterus. One or several fibroids may be present in fibroid complications. They are of various shapes and are firm and slow-growing. They may range in size from less than an inch to more than 1 foot. Types of fibroids include Intramural, which is the most common among all types of fibroids. The Subserosal Fibroids, located at the walls of the uterus (womb), while the Submucosal Fibroids are fibroids that develop on the muscle lining of the uterus’ wall. The Cervical Fibroid that develops on the cervix. The Pendunculated forms when a subserosal fibroid grows a stalk doing a twisted formation on the uterus. This type of fibroid is very painful. Lastly, the rarest fibroid among the others, the Parasitic uterine fibroid. Parasitic fibroids develop when it attaches itself to another organ. These different types of fibroids are often associated with uterine fibroids, myomas, or fibromyomas.

Developing these Fibroids is a common condition among women, but it is scientifically studied that these slow growing tumors hardly proceed to acute fibroid complications stage. It is estimated that 20 percent of women have fibroids before menopause begins. Women in the age of 30 to 50 are most likely to have fibroids or are diagnosed with fibroid symptoms. Obese women and those who are not physically active have a higher risk of having fibroids. Some estrogen booster tablets can also trigger the growth of fibroids.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

A fibroid produces no symptoms and is discovered only in a gynecological examination. That is why most women do not know that they already have fibroids developing inside of them. Possible symptoms that can lead to acute fibroid complications may include heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia that is occasionally accompanied by chronic pain (dysmenorrhea). Fibroids can also inflict Anemia due to heavy periods and major loss of red blood cells. An extended complication to those with anemia would encounter frequent fatigue states, nausea, and dizziness.

Anemia

If the fibroid mature and increases in size there are times that it tends to press onto the nerves of the spine thus creates backache, pain on the legs, thighs, and buttocks. The same with women who gets the symptoms of constipation, when the fibroid that is located at the back part of the uterus grows, complications builds up by the disturbance of the rectal area (the tip of the colon), that is just right behind the uterus. In addition, to those women who suffer from anemia due to fibroids they would most likely take iron supplements to combat there condition, however iron type supplements can also cause constipation.

Pain During Intercourse

Painful sex is also one of the symptoms that a woman with fibroid tumor encounters. When the fibroid develops on the cervix, penetrations may have that painful or uncomfortable feeling. A deeper soreness when a fibroid is irritated and is bleeding, this is commonly encountered on a more complicated stage.

Frequent Urination

If a fibroid causes pressure on the bladder, urination becomes more frequent. Swelling and discomfort of the lower abdomen and pelvis are also significant minor fibroid complications that can be subdued by medicines and pain relievers.

Sterility

Fibroid may also cause sterility to a woman, which is a more serious case. It is very rare to have fibroids that mature on an acute complicated stage. Symptoms may just be an effect of how these benign tumors manifest in a woman’s body but if it progresses, and a woman is already experiencing 80% of all the symptoms, then she needs to see a doctor. Some irritated fibroid would complicate and develop into cancerous tumors. Pregnant women who have fibroids also have risks, like having a caesarian labor, having a breech positioning of the baby, placental abruption, and preterm deliveries. In some reported cases there are chances that the fetus of the pregnant woman who has a large fibroid on her uterus would have limb abnormalities, head deformities, congenital torticollis, and caudal. These laborers may also be a factor of repeated miscarriage.

Fibroids are said to increase its growth speed when a woman produces high estrogen levels. This could occur during pregnancies. That is why having a healthier balanced meal and a good lifestyle should be maintained during this stage in a woman’s life. In some cases, fibroids can grow to large sizes, large enough that it can already be felt through the abdominal wall. The biggest in recorded size of a fibroid was estimated to have the same size of melon.

Large fibroids may lead to infertility. Infertility cases are less likely to happen in regards to large fibroids but if it does, some minor complications might occur. Fertilized egg may prevent itself from sticking on the mother’s womb. Also, large fibroids might block the fallopian tube that inhibits the egg cell to pass through. Doctors allow surgical procedures of removing fibroids during pregnancy but only Subserosal Fibroids or those fibroids that are on the outer side of the walls of the uterus are found to be a hundred percent safe.

How does a fibroid form and is there a prevention? Each month the uterus increases in size in response to the sex hormones and then decreases at the time of menstruation. As soon as the woman’s body produces estrogen, the risk of having a fibroid begins. Fibroid likely forms when an area of muscle in the uterus fails to shrink with the rest of the uterus. Each month, the area grows slightly under the stimulus of hormones, and as the bulk increases, a fibroid is formed. After menopause, fibroids decrease in size due to depletion of estrogen and as the uterus becomes smaller.

In preventing fibroids, you can first check your family background of fibroid cases among the women in the family. If it is dominant, there is a 50 percent chance that you are going to have it too. To prevent that, you should educate yourself about fibroids, have yearly OB check-ups, and have a healthy lifestyle.