As many as 1 in 5 women will develop uterine fibroids during their child bearing years. More than half of these women will develop fibroids before the age of 50.
However, fibroids are rare in women under the age of 20. By age 35 fibroids can be found in 60% of African-American women and 40% Caucasian women. By the age of 50, fibroids can be found in 80% of African-American Women and 70% of Caucasian women.
Doctors have not determined what causes fibroid tumors. But have found that the females hormones estrogen and progesterone are necessary for fibroids to grow. There is also evidence that fibroids run in families and the onset of menstral period at an early age, may increase the risk of developing fibroids. Uterine Fibroids aren't usually dangerous but can lead to some discomfort and may lead to anemia.
DescriptionFibroid tumors are solid and made of fibrous tissue. They can develop slowly or over time without symptoms. Only 25% of fibroid symptoms of fibroid symptoms will cause symptoms and need medical treatment.
Fibroid are usually benign (non-Cancerous) tumors but can develop in other organs that contain smooth muscle cells. They can range in size from 1mm to more than 20cm diameter, which causes most women to get a hysterectomy.
Fibroids tumors also tend to grow during pregnancy when the body is producing large amounts of estrogen. Once menopause begins, tumors generally stop growing and begin to shrink due to the lack of estrogen.
Types of Fibroid TumorsIntramural Fibroids located on the wall of the uterus (most common):
- Submucous (Submucosal) Fibroids-found within the uterine lining an can protrude into the uterine cavity. They can cause heavy bleeding during menstral
- Subserosal Fibroids-Fibroids that project to the outside of the uterus, they can cause pressure on the bladder.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Prolonged menstrual period (7 Days or longer)
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Frequent urination
- Backache or leg pains
When To See A Doctor
See your doctor if you have:
- Heavy or painful pelvic
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Pain with intercourse
- Enlarged uterus and abdominal
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
- Pelvic pain that doesn't go away
Pregnancy ComplicationsIn some cases fibroids have been known to distort or block fallopian tubes or prevent the passage of sperm through the cervix to the fallopian tube. In addition, fibroids can cause multiples miscarriages, infertility, premature labor and complications. However, a majority of women with fibroids go on and are able to have successful pregnancies.
Other complications include:
- Preterm birth
- Placenta previa
- Excessive bleeding
- Breech birth
AnemiaAnemia due to iron deficiency can develop from excessive bleeding from fibroids. Small fibroids are likely to cause abnormal heavy bleeding than the larger fibroids.
Anemia can be treated with the proper diets and iron supplements. Women should look out for signs of iron deficiency, which includes shortness of breath, palpations, ice craving, headaches, dizziness, nervousness, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, and sexual dysfunction. If women have been feeling some of these symptoms and think you have anemia, contact your healthcare provider.
For more information about Uterine Fibroids contact:
Fibroids: A Second Opinion