Fibroids or uterine fibroids also known as leiomyomas are little tumours that grow in a woman’s uterus wall. These tumours are not cancerous, which means they are benign. Although, they can result in discomforting symptoms and pain. This generally leads to women in search of fibroid specialist in London.
There are many types of benign tumours in women with fibroid being the most common. Fibroids are found mostly in women that have reached the age of childbearing. A woman may keep experiencing it during and after menopause – or they may grow initially during this point of life. In this article, we will learn more about fibroids and how it is connected to menopause.
Hormones and Fibroids
Progesterone and estrogen are hormones that can higher the risk of fibroids. The body’s production of progesterone and estrogen is less during menopause. Therefore, one is at a lesser risk for new fibroids.
Preexisting fibroids may also decrease in size when there is a drop in hormone levels.
Fibroids Risk Factors
The following are factors that can higher the odds of developing fibroids:
- vitamin D deficiency
- No history of pregnancy
- Genetic history of fibroids
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Long-term, extreme stress
Also, African American women, who are over the age of 40 are at a greater risk for fibroids.
Postmenopausal and premenopausal women can be affected by fibroids in many ways. Overall, premenopausal women are inclined to have more severe symptoms.
On some occasions, the fibroids do not result in any symptoms. In an annual pelvic exam, at your private gp services london, your fibroid specialist may discover fibroids.
Both premenopausal and postmenopausal women can have the following fibroid signs:
- Frequent Urination
- Incontinence or urine leakage
- Fullness in the lower belly
- Lower back pain
- Heavy bleeding
- Anaemia from significant loss of blood
- Menstrual – like cramping
- Abdominal swelling
- Frequent spotting
- Painful intercourse
Most of these symptoms can be caused directly by a fibroid or a group of fibroids pushing against the wall of the uterus. For example, one needs to urinate more frequently due to pressure from fibroids on the bladder.
Postmenopause treatment of fibroids
It can be hard to treat fibroids. Currently, the preferred drug treatment is birth control pills. Myomectomy which is the surgical removal of your fibroids may be recommended by your fibroid specialist. They may also recommend a hysterectomy which is the surgical removal of your uterus.
Pain and excess bleeding are symptoms that can be managed by birth control pills. But, it will not make the fibroids smaller or cause them to disappear.
The use of both progestin-only and combination birth control pills for fibroids is supported by evidence. Progestins may also reduce other symptoms caused by menopause and help hormone replacement therapies to be more effective.
There are other hormonal treatments that can relieve bleeding and pain such as intrauterine devices(also called IUDs) that contain progestins and progestin injections.
There are times when a myomectomy is done before a hysterectomy is considered. Myomectomy aims at removing fibroid and does not include the removal of the uterus. Myomectomies can be done in many ways, based on where the fibroid is located.
The surgery can be done hysteroscopically(with the help of a thin, lighted tube) provided most of the fibroid is within the uterine cavity.
Sometimes, your doctor will make an incision in the lower abdomen. The size and location of the incision resemble the incision used for caesarean delivery. The time to fully recover is about 4 – 6 weeks. However, other methods used are more common than this one.
Your doctor can also be able to do the surgery laparoscopically. A smaller cut is made during laparoscopic surgery. You can recover faster from laparoscopic surgery. However, this type of surgery is recommended and performed only for smaller fibroids.
Your fibroid specialist may recommend a hysterectomy if fibroids come back after a myomectomy.
If the symptoms are severe due to big, recurring fibroids, a hysterectomy may be a wise choice. Hysterectomy involves the removal of all or part of your uterus.
Hysterectomies may be performed on women who:
- Have very large fibroids
- Have multiple fibroids
- Are close to menopause, or postmenopausal
- Have tried different therapies, desire the most definitive treatment, and have no plans for giving birth to children in the future.
Hysterectomy has three types:
- Total: In this method, the doctor removes your uterus completely as well as your cervix. Sometimes, they can also recommend removing the fallopian tubes. This choice may be wise for you if you possess large and widespread fibroid clusters.
- Partial/subtotal: Only your upper uterus is removed in this surgery. Your doctor can recommend this choice if fibroids are a recurring problem in this part of your uterus. This can be checked by means of imaging tests.
- Radical: This is the most important form of hysterectomy and it is not commonly used in fibroid treatment. Sometimes it is recommended for some gynaecological cancers. In this procedure, your specialist removes your uterus, cervix, vagina(upper), and parametria(surrounding tissues of the vagina and uterus).
Fibroids can only be cured completely by means of a hysterectomy.
You and your fibroid specialist in London can decide if this treatment is the best option to treat your fibroid.
There are alternative treatments for menopausal or postmenopausal women. This includes the following minimally invasive or noninvasive solutions:
- Myolysis: In this treatment, fibroids and their blood vessels are gotten rid of with heat or an electric current; Acessa is an example of this procedure.
- Forced UltraSound Surgery(FUS): This treatment uses great energy and high-frequency sound waves to eliminate fibroids.
- Endometrial Ablation: Your specialist may use methods like electric current, heat, extreme cold, and hot water to eliminate the uterine lining.
- Uterine artery embolization: Your fibroid specialist will cut off the blood supply to the fibroids.
You may develop fibroids during menopause. However, fibroids are mostly found in premenopausal women.