If you have this condition you've probably heard more about what Fibroids are not than what they are. So here, we explore some misconceptions about Fibroids - their causes and how they are treated.
What's On This Page
What are Fibroids?
Fibroids are benign (non-cancer) growths in the womb.
They are quite common.
Some Nigerian studies estimate that '1 out of every 10 women' within the reproductive group has Fibroids.
Many times the condition is under-reported and the actual number is significantly higher.
Fibroids, Diet and Weight
It is thought that weight gain is associated with an increased risk of having Fibroids - however, this is not always the case.
However, for people with Fibroids, a better health outcome is achieved from keeping a healthy weight.
While there is no clear evidence linking diet directly to the cause of Fibroids, taking healthy meals contributes to your overall health.
We think it also likely to minimise any risks with developing complications from fibroids.
Benefits of dietary change in Fibroids are not always clear:
However, some women have experienced an improvement in the symptoms with a diet that is based on less saturated fats and carbohydrates.
This may explain the link with weight (since being overweight increases Oestrogen levels in the body).
What Causes Fibroids?
Research is still going on to determine the cause(s) of Fibroids.
But we know they are more common in women of Afro-Caribbean origin, and linked to the hormone Oestrogen.
What About Symptoms of Fibroids?
The symptoms of the fibroid are different in many women.
Often, this depends on:
- the size of the fibroid,
- the location of the fibroid in or around the womb
- and the number of fibroids present in the womb.
One of the commonest symptoms from fibroids is heavy, and usually painful vaginal bleeding.
It can happen during the periods and often results in changes to your menstrual cycle.
The fibroids can make the usual bleeding period last longer than normal as well as being heavy and painful.
There can also be vaginal bleeding in between the usual period days.
The womb has a very rich blood supply and the structure of the womb is changed by the development of Fibroids which disrupts the bleeding pattern.
Who Commonly Gets Fibroids?
Additionally, fibroids occur more often in younger than older women (age 30-50 years most commonly).
We have commented earlier on the Oestrogen effect on Fibroids.
Oestrogen levels reduce in a woman around the Menopause (and after) meaning that the Fibroid shrinks and the effects like bleeding, pain, etc will also reduce.
Options In Treating Fibroids
Sometimes Fibroids are detected on a scan when there is another (unrelated) problem, but other times (and quite commonly), it is the painful period cycles that bring a lady to her doctor.
There are often more than one treatment option- and each lady should be considered on a case by case basis to determine the best for her specific situation.
They could include medicines for pain relief or to control the periods.
These could either be analgesics or hormone-containing drugs that interfere with the menstrual cycle to control symptoms.
In addition, other measures like surgery or uterine artery embolisation methods may be considered.
Learn more about Fibroids here.
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