About Uterine fibroids
The uterus is another important component in the female reproductive system. It is the site where the fertilized egg will implant and continue to grow for nine months. Abnormalities in the uterus can also be a common cause for infertility. Fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus, which can grow substantially in size leading to infertility. Endometriosis is different conditions, which affect the lining of the uterus. In these conditions scar tissue can form which can effect the implantation and thus be a cause for infertility.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop within or attach to the wall of the uterus, a female reproductive organ. Uterine fibroids are the most common pelvic tumor. The cause of uterine fibroid tumors is unknown. Oral contraceptives and pregnancy lower the risk of developing new fibroid tumors. Fibroids may be present in 15 – 20% of women in their reproductive years — the time after starting menstruation for the first time and before menopause. Fibroids may affect 30 – 40% of women over age 30. Fibroids range in size from very small (coin sized) to larger than a melon. A very large uterine fibroid can cause the uterus to expand to the size of a six or seven-month pregnancy. There can either be one dominant fibroid or a cluster of many small fibroids.
The growth of a fibroid seems to depend on the hormone estrogen. As long as a woman with fibroids is menstruating, the fibroids will probably continue to grow, usually slowly. Fibroids are a common problem among many women, but you may hardly realize it since they often produce no symptoms.
Symptoms of Uterine fibroids
• Very heavy and prolonged menstrual periods
• Pain in the back of the legs
• Pelvic pain or pressure
• Pain during sexual intercourse
• Pressure on the bladder which leads to a constant need to urinate, incontinence, or the inability to
empty the bladder
• An enlarged abdomen which may be mistaken for weight gain or pregnancy
Complications of uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are not very dangerous and are not a major health concern. But it can put you through some difficulties. For example, severe and heavy bleeding during your period can make you Anemic. On some occasions, if the fibroid grows out of your Uterus in a peculiar stalk-like projection, you may feel extreme pain when it twists on this stalk. Under these conditions, the fibroid will have to be surgically removed.
Pregnancy and fibroids
In most cases, fibroids do not interfere with pregnancy and treatment is not necessary. By and large they do not hinder the process of getting pregnant or with your bodily changes during pregnancy, but fibroids can rarely cause infertility. Some of the ways fibroids can cause infertility are by
• blocking your fallopian tubes,
• interfering with Sperm movement and
• Preventing implantation and growth of an Embryo.
A more common complication of fibroids in pregnancy is localized pain, usually between the first and second trimesters. This can be easily treated with pain relievers.