Fibroids are considered to be one of the leading causes as to why many women submit themselves to hysterectomy, or the total removal of the uterus. There are different types of fibroids that women should know about, as each may have its own signs and symptoms to display. Women have to be alert, especially when they are already in their middle to late reproductive years, as fibroid formation is more rampant during these years. There are also some types that do not necessarily grow in the uterus, but in other places as well. Women have to know them so that they could get the proper treatment right away.
There are basically three types of fibroids: uterine, cervical, and breast. Cervical fibroids are formations that grow in that limited space called the cervix (or the neck of the uterus). These fibroids have a tendency to grow quite big and are thus difficult to take out. Removal is difficult because there is a big chance that the uterus might be damaged, as well as the cervix. Breast fibroids are sometimes called as fibrocystic breast disease, diffuse cystic mastopathy, or mammary dysplasia. They are usually unusual lump formations that could be felt anywhere on the breast. But then, all of these fibroids are still non-cancerous (or benign) in nature.
Uterine fibroids are classified according to where they are located in the uterus. There are four main types of fibroids that grow in the uterus:
- Intramural fibroids
- Subserosal fibroids
- Submucosal fibroids
- Pedunculated fibroids
Intramural fibroids are fibroids that grow in the muscular wall of the uterus. This type accounts for majority of all women who have fibroids in their uteruses. These fibroids tend to expand, which makes the woman feel like her uterus is bigger than normal. The size could start as a microscopic growth and it could even grow up to the size of a grapefruit. The most common signs and symptoms attributed to this type of fibroid are heavy menstruation, back and pelvic pain, feelings of pressure in the uterus, and frequent urination. Women who have this usually think that they simply gained weight or are pregnant.
Subserosal fibroids are those that start to form in the outer portion of the uterus and progress to grow in an outward direction. This type of fibroid does not usually have an effect on a woman’s menstrual flow like the other types (such as the intramural fibroids), but due to the undue pressure that it could cause upon other organs, pain could be felt by the woman. These fibroids may cause cramping, bloating, and abdominal pressure.
Submucosal fibroids are fibroids that form partially inside the muscular wall, extending to the uterine cavity. This is the least common of all types. Submucosal fibroids could bring about excessive menstruation (or menorrhagia), bleeding in between periods, and prolonged menstrual cycles.
Pedunculated fibroids are the fibroids that grow on stalks either inside or outside of the uterus. They resemble mushrooms as they have a stalk to attach them to the uterus. These fibroids could cause a lot of pain especially when the stalks twist. The stalks could even get infected and may cause nausea and fever among those who have this type of fibroid.
Another type of fibroid is the intracavitary fibroid. This is the fibroid that grows inside the uterine cavity. These fibroids could cause heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping. It is possible for a woman to have more than one type of fibroid growing in her body. This is why frequent consultation is a must. Women who find out that they have fibroids may ask about the possible treatments that they could undergo. There are other types of fibroids that may grow, such as fundal fibroids (which grow on the upper part of the uterus), calcified fibroids (fibroids that have inadequate blood supply, thus deposition of calcium happens in the fibroids), ovarian fibroids (those that grow on the ovaries), and vaginal fibroids (fibroids that grow in the vaginal area).
These fibroids usually do not have any signs and symptoms. But if ever these fibroids already start to make themselves known, it may be difficult for a woman to continue with her daily tasks. This is the time that treatment should already be sought after. A visit to one’s OB-GYNE could already help to shed light on a lot of questions. There are treatment options that are non-invasive, such as the intake of various medications that help to control the body’s production of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones are linked to the formation of fibroids in a woman’s body.
A woman’s risk of developing any fibroids types increases as she ages. That is why doctors usually emphasize the importance of having to submit one’s self to a consultation regularly. If there have been incidents where a family member has been diagnosed to have fibroids, chances are that the other women are also at risk of developing fibroids. If the women feel something wrong, they must visit their doctors right away. There are many treatment options available for them. In this way, complications may be avoided.
There are women who opt to go with alternative treatment options, such as taking various supplements that help to control the hormones in the body. These supplements also contain various ingredients that help to suppress the formation of these fibroids. Since fibroids are usually made up of fibrin and others, the supplements usually have fibrinolytics in them that destroy the fibrin found in the fibroids. These help to shrink the size of the fibroids a lot faster. When this happens, the women may not have to undergo surgery anymore.
There are many treatment options for the women, all suited for the different types of fibroids. In order to know which treatment option is the best, the women are encouraged to talk with their physicians right away. They will be able to discuss the viable options that they could take in order to manage their situations a lot better.
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