Fibroids are benign (noncancerous) growths in the uterus. Fibroids develop from the cells that make up the muscle of the uterus. Many women are not aware that they have fibroids because they are usually small and asymptomatic. Fibroids may appear inside the uterus, on its outer surface, within its wall or attached to it by a thin structure. The fibroids can range in size from ½ an inch to 5-6 inches, some have been known to grow very large and fill the pelvis and abdomen.
Fibroid symptoms vary from women to women. Some women have no symptoms, while others may experience some or all of the symptoms described below:
- Changes in menstruation (More bleeding / Longer or more frequent periods
- Menstrual pain (cramps)
- Vaginal bleeding at times other than menstruation
- Pain (In the abdomen or lower back (sharp or dull) / Pain during sex)
- Abdominal Pressure
- Difficulty urinating or frequent urination
- Constipation, rectal pain or difficulty with bowel movements
- Abdominal cramps
- Miscarriages and infertility
Fibroids that are attached to the uterus by a thin structure may twist and cause pain, nausea or fever. Fibroids may also become infected. This happens only when there is an infection already in the area. These symptoms also may be signs of other problems, therefore you should see your provider if you have any of these symptoms.
Pelvic exam and ultrasound are the most common diagnostic devices.
Small fibroids that do not cause any symptom do not usually require treatment. Nor do women who are menopausal or premenopausal. Women who experience the symptoms that described above may be treated using hormonal therapy, myomectomy (surgical removal of the fibroid) or hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus and fibroid).
Uterine Fibroids and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and have fibroids, they likely will not cause problems for you or your baby. During pregnancy, fibroids may grow larger from blood flowing to the uterus. Growth of the fibroid may cause discomfort, pelvic pressure, or pelvic pain. Fibroids generally decrease in size after delivery.
In rare cases, myomectomy may be performed in a pregnant woman. In this case, cesarean birth is indicated to prevent rupture of the uterus due to contractions.
Possible Complications of Fibroids during Pregnancy:
- Miscarriage (in which the pregnancy ends before 20 weeks)
- Preterm birth
- Breech birth (in which the baby is in a position other than head down)
- A large fibroid can block the opening of the uterus or keep the baby from passing into the birth canal. In this case, a cesarean delivery is done.
In most cases, a large fibroid will move out of the fetus’s way as the uterus expands during pregnancy.
- Women with large fibroids may have more blood loss after delivery.
- Pregnant women with fibroids may need to be placed on bed rest at home or in the
hospital because of pain, bleeding, or threatened preterm labor.
For more information on All Female Health Care, call (954) 742-3536 or visit us at 8890 W Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise, FL 33351. You can set up an appointment for a pelvic exam, pap smear, birth control or STD testing with one of the representatives of All Female Health Care.