Uterine fibroids are benign tumors found in uterus. They originate from smooth muscle tissue called myometrium of uterus. Often there are multiple fibroids in the uterus. Malignant fibroids are very rare. Fibroid is also called as leiomyoma or fibromyoma. Three out of four women have uterine fibroids. Many women who have fibroids remain asymptomatic. Fibroids rarely require treatment. If they are causing difficulty in pregnancy or causing menorrhagia then it can be excised surgically.
What Causes Uterine Fibroids?
Exact cause of uterine fibroid is not known. But there are various factors which may influence the development of uterine fibroids.
- Female whose mother or sister has past history of fibroids is more likely to develop uterine fibroid.
- Oestrogen and progesterone has stimulating effect on fibroids.
- Black women are more prone to develop uterine fibroids.
- Women who take oral contraceptives are less likely to develop fibroids.
- Pregnancy and childbirth gives protection from developing fibroids.
A single cell from myometrium reproduces repeatedly, resulting in fibroid.
Uterine Fibroids Symptoms
Most of the women with uterine fibroid remain asymptomatic. But if there are multiple fibroids or if fibroid is growing in size then one can have following symptoms.
- Menses may last for more than eight days.
- There will be heavy bleeding during menses.
- Patient will experience pain in lower abdomen due to increased pelvic pressure.
- Frequent urination and inability to empty the bladder completely.
- Associated symptoms may be pain in lower back and legs and constipation.
- Submucosal fibroids grow in the inner cavity of the uterus and cause menorrhagia. They may interfere with pregnancy.
- Fibroids that project outside the uterus may put pressure on bladder or rectum or nerves resulting in urinary symptoms, constipation and back pain respectively.
- Patient may experience pain during intercourse.
- Sometimes there will be bleeding between the menses.
- Patient may become anaemic due to heavy bleeding.
- Sometimes fibroid twists around the stalk and may cause acute severe pain due to ischaemia. This patient requires immediate medical attention.
- It may be one of the causes of repeated abortions.
- During pregnancy fibroids may interfere with position of foetus and may cause premature labour.
Diagnosis: Irregular shape of uterus can be felt on pelvic examination. Ultrasonography of uterus will confirm the diagnosis. Hysterosonography or hysterosalpingography or hysteroscopy may be advised if necessary.
Natural Remedies For Uterine Fibroids
Usually no treatment is required. Generally fibroids shrink after menopause. Medication may be given to control heavy bleeding.
- In severe cases or cases where it interferes with pregnancy, myomectomy is done. Myomectomy is a surgical procedure in which fibroids are removed from uterus.
- Diet rich in fiber will help to ease the constipation.
- Vitamin B complex and vitamin E may help in controlling fibroids to some extent.
- Take one clove of garlic every day. It contains allicin which may shrink the fibroid.
- Meditation and relaxation techniques may help to balance your hormone levels.
- Eat healthy balanced diet. Eat green leafy vegetables, banana and other iron rich food to combat anemia.
- Avoid eating red meat, dairy products and white bread as these products increase oestrogen level in body.