Almost One-Third Of Women Have This Condition
Uterine fibroids refer to growths in the uterus that are typically non-cancerous. The growths can affect around 30% of women before the age of 35. In some cases, fibroids may cause uncomfortable symptoms. If fibroids are causing discomfort, women may opt for surgery to have the growths removed, also called laparoscopic myomectomy. In 80-90% of cases, a myomectomy causes significant relief.
1. Irregular bleeding
One of the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids is irregular bleeding. This could include heavy periods, bleeding between periods, or periods that last longer than a week. Fibroids are not always to blame for abnormal bleeding. However, if uterine fibroids are present, the removal is an effective treatment for symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).
2. Bladder problems
Uterine fibroids can cause frequent urination or other bladder difficulties. For example, women may have trouble emptying the bladder. Frequent urination can have different causes, some as simple as overhydration. However, if frequent urination is accompanied by any of the other symptoms associated with uterine fibroids, seek treatment.
3. You’re still planning to have children
Fibroids don’t usually interfere with a woman’s fertility. However, because of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with the growths, women may desire surgical removal. In these cases, a myomectomy is a preferable option over a hysterectomy to preserve fertility.
4. The fibroids are causing pain
Some women do not experience any severe symptoms from fibroids. However, when the growths are large, fibroids can cause pelvic pain. Pelvic pain could be a symptom of another condition, such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Always see a doctor to find out the underlying cause of any pelvic pain.
What is a myomectomy?
A laparoscopic myomectomy uses a few small incisions and small tools to remove fibroids. This procedure is typically best for women who have fewer or smaller fibroids. The surgery may involve an overnight stay in the hospital or may be done on an outpatient basis. The minimally invasive techniques used in laparoscopic myomectomy are associated with less pain, quicker recovery, and less scarring.
Who is likely to get fibroids?
There are uncontrollable risk factors for uterine fibroids, such as genetics and race. However, women should be aware of the controllable lifestyle factors that affect risk. Obesity, vitamin D deficiency, diets high in red meat, and excessive alcohol consumption have been linked to uterine fibroids.
When to see a doctor
Treatment of fibroids may also include hormonal medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or watchful waiting. If a woman is experiencing irregular bleeding or severe pelvic pain, speak with a doctor. Uterine removal may be the best option.