Mar 2, 2009

Fibroids - What You Can Do About It

Fibroids are common in women and occur in 20% of females. They are fibrous growth occuring almost always in the uterus (womb). There is no known cause for fibroids. Most people pass through life without knowing they have fibroids and without any complication from them.

A good number of people who have fibroids do not exhibit any symptoms, only to be discovered during routine health checks and ultrasound scans of the pelvis. Most of them do not require surgery or treatment. The size of fibroids can remain the same or enlarged, but they rarely shrink in size excep during menopause.

Signs and symptoms of Fibroids (5Ps)
1. Period problems - Heavy menses, sometimes with blood clots. The patient can feel giddy, tired and breathless due to anemia.
2. Palpable lump - On examination, enlargement of the womb is detected. Usually the womb is small and cannot be felt from abdomen. However, if the lump can be felt, then it is considered large and surgery may have to be considered.
3. Pressure symptoms - They can press on the bladder, causing a sensitive to pass urine frequently. If the compression is severe, the patient may have difficulty and even inability to pass urine. If the fibroids compress the rectum, the patient will have the sensation of wanting to pass motion often.
4. Pain - Fibroids can cause severe pain if they are twisted (those occuring on the surface of the womb) or if they become enlarge too quickly over a short time.
5. Pregnancy related - If the fibroids block the fallopian tubes, occupy the area of implantation of pregnancy, or occupy a large area of the womb and cause fertility problems, then surgery may have to be considered.

The cause of fibroids groeth is the estrogen hormone from ovaries. This hormone will only disappear after menopause. In other words, when a patient is still having monthly periods, there is a higher chance of fibroid growth. When she goes into menopause, there is usually shrinkage of the fibroids by at least 50%. If the patient does not have any signs and symptoms, the fibroids just need regular monitoring by ultrasound and examination. This is especially so if the patient is near the age of menopause (about 51 - 53 years of age).

The likehood of contracting cancerous fibroids is in the region of 0.03%. These are usually more than 6cm in size.

Unfortunately, there is no medication to treat fibroids. There is an injection that shrinks fibroids up to 50% in size over 3 to 6 months. Once administered, this injection cannot be repeated for more than 6 months as it can cause side effects, especially brittle bones leasing to fractures. Once the injection is stopped, the fibroids will grow again.

Source from Dr Christoper Chong

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails