Uterine fibroids, which are medically also known as myomas or leiomyomas, are non-cancerous tumours made up of muscle and fibrous tissue that grow in or around the uterus (womb). It’s possible to have only a single fibroid although women suffering from this condition have more than one in or near the uterus, including the cervix. In fact, they can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a grapefruit.
Fibroids are actually pretty common! About 20 to 80 per cent of women develop fibroids during their reproductive years. It is a pretty alarming statistic, right? Therefore, women must be aware of the signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids.
Most women may never even know that they have fibroids due to the variation in size and shape which has a significant impact on the symptoms. Estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones produced by our ovaries, can stimulate fibroid growth. This is the reason women going through menopause are at the highest risk of developing this condition.
Causes of uterine fibroids
Let’s find out what are the factors that can cause uterine fibroids:
Obesity: If you’re obese or overweight, then you are at a higher risk of developing fibroids.
Family history: If someone in your family has had fibroids, you might be more susceptible to the medical condition.
Women who are nulliparous: Uterine fibroids are more common among women who don’t have children.
Getting your periods at a young age: If your periods start at an early age, you’re more likely to experience the issue of fibroids.
Late menopause: The hormones estrogen and progesterone can increase the risk of fibroids.
Eating habits: Eating excessive amounts of red meat and ham is linked with a higher risk of fibroids.
Signs of uterine fibroids
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids. This information will help you figure out if you need medical help. Here are the things to look out for:
Painful and excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle.
Fibroids often result in frequent urination.
Large fibroids can cause pressure on the uterus and lead to painful intercourse.
Uterine fibroids can cause pain or discomfort in your lower back.
Complications during pregnancy can rise. Such complications include preterm labour, placental abruption, placenta previa, and fetal anomalies.
Constipation can be caused due to the presence of fibroids.
An enlarged uterus is symptomatic of fibroids. It can cause the feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, you must speak with your doctor to seek timely help!