Fibroids are benign and solid tumors that may have a very varied size and that originate from uterine muscle cells.
Symptoms and diagnosis of fibroids
The most accurate way to diagnose a myoma is by physical examination or after a vaginal ultrasound by a specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics. In this way, not only can the number of fibroids be identified, but also the size of each of them and their precise location. In relation to all of the above, the patient may present a series of symptoms that are related, especially, to the proximity of the uterus to other neighboring organs such as the bladder and rectum, and with the alteration of menstruation. In this way, the main symptoms include:
- Associated with the compression effect of myoma:
O Pelvic pain or sexual intercourse
O Increased frequency of micturition
- Associated with alteration of menstruation
O Increased amount of menstrual bleeding
O Increasing the duration of menstruation
- Associated with intrauterine location
Causes of fibroids
To date, the real cause of uterine fibroids is unknown. However, the latest research is finding certain genetic alterations in affected patients. But it is something that still needs to be studied more in depth in the future. What is well known is that they are estrogen-dependent tumors that women produce. This means that they only develop during the fertile age between the first and last rule, and after which they tend to reduce in size until disappearing.
Therefore, there is practically no postmenopausal woman suffering from uterine fibroids. If this is the case, it is necessary to study them to rule out that the myoma has not been malignant, something that only occurs in 1% of the cases.
Type of patients affected by fibroids
It usually occurs in women during the fertile age while they have their menstrual cycles. The most common is to make the diagnosis between 35 and 45 years of age.
Treatment to fight fibroids
The vast majority of women with uterine fibroids do not need any treatment since they are usually asymptomatic. In very selected cases with symptoms a specific treatment is necessary. It is very important to begin with the less invasive therapeutic strategies aimed at treating the specific symptom, such as pain or menstrual disorders.
If the fibroids are very large and cause some of the symptoms mentioned above, which alter the quality of life of the patients, it is necessary to propose some kind of more invasive treatment. There are non-surgical measures such as ultrasound ablation, fibroid embolization, or certain types of hormonal treatments. But these are only for highly selected patients with a limited level of effectiveness.
Surgical treatment is, to this day, the most invasive but the most effective. It is usually reserved only for those cases where conservative measures have failed or have very severe symptoms.
It is possible to remove the fibroids only in the case of women who have not yet been mothers, or to extirpate the uterus, which is the organ where the fibroids develop. Both procedures are performed by mini-invasive laparoscopic surgery, through orifices in the belly of 5 mm. This approach is associated with a lower level of postoperative pain and a reincorporation to daily life faster and more effectively.