Also known as Uterine Leiomyoma, Myoma, Fibromyoma, Fibroleiomyoma, Uterine Fibroids are smooth, benign muscle tumors of uterus which display no symptoms in most women, while some may have painful or heavy periods. A frequent need to urinate may also occur if they push on the bladder. It may also cause lower back pain or pain during sex in some cases. Women may have a single uterine fibroid or many of them & which can occasionally make it difficult for them to get pregnant. Even though exact cause is unclear, it can run in families & appear partly determined by hormone levels. Uterine fibroids risk factors include obesity & consumption of plenty of red meat. Diagnosis is usually done by medical imaging or pelvic examination.
These are very common non-cancerous growths developing within the muscular wall of the uterus. Ranging in size from tiny, about a quarter of an inch, to larger than cantaloupe, these can occasionally cause uterus to grow to size of five-month pregnancy.
While most uterine fibroids do not cause any symptoms, just about 10 – 20% women having fibroids require any kind of treatment. Signs & symptoms of uterine fibroids if any depend on the location, size & number of fibroids in women.
Women typically undergo ultrasound as part of the evaluation process to determine presence of uterine fibroids. Since this rudimentary imaging tool does not show all underlying diseases of existing fibroids, MRI is the standard imaging tool used by interventional radiologists. MRI improves patient selection receiving nonsurgical Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) so as to destroy tumors. Apart from being useful in determining if embolization can be useful, MRI additionally helps detect alternate causes for symptoms & to identify pathology which could prevent women from having UFE so as to avoid ineffective treatments. MRI in fact helps enhance level of patient care through better diagnosis, better treatment options & thereby better outcomes. Patients considering surgical treatment should however seek a second opinion from most qualified radiologist in order to interpret MRI & determine if interventional procedure is the best choice.
There are three main types of uterine fibroids largely depending upon the location.
These are –
There is no single classic treatment for uterine fibroids. For women with mildly annoying or no signs & symptoms they can live with, watchful waiting is the best option. As these are noncancerous they rarely interfere with pregnancy & usually grow slowly, or not at all. Moreover, they tend to shrink when levels of reproductive hormones drop after menopause.
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