Recently, one of Nigeria’s most popular media personality; Toke Makinwa shared a video story of her 7 years battle with Fibroid on her vlog. Her story was quite educating and illuminating and inspired us to do this medical article on Fibroid.
If you watched her video post, she talked about being scared to get surgery and how she eventually had to overcome her fears and get the necessary medical attention. Her story should serve as an eye opener and inspiration to everyone struggling with fibroid out there.Source: UCLA Obs and gynae
What are Fibroids?
- Fibroid is a type of tumour that grow in the uterus of women during their active reproductive age. These tumours develop from smooth muscle cells and connective tissues in the uterus, and affect the uterus only. They are not cancerous tumours though there is a small potential risk of malignant transformation. They are also known as leiomyomata, myoma or fibromas.
- Fibroid is common tumour in women. It is estimated that as much as 75% of women have fibroid in their uterus at some time during their reproductive ages. Sometimes, it may be small and causing no clinical symptoms and at other times it may be large enough to be detected by the doctor during physical examination.
What causes fibroid tumors?
It is not entirely clear what causes fibroid. However, it is believed that tumours develop from an aberrant muscle cell in the uterus, which multiplies rapidly under the influence of estrogen – a female hormone.
Who is at risk for fibroid tumours?
- Older women (especially those approaching menopause)
- Obese woman
- Women of African origin
It is said that child birth offers some protection against developing fibroids. How this factor confers protection is not known, but it is speculated that periods of pregnancy reduces the exposure of the uterus to oestrogen – a hormone that promotes growth of fibroids.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
Many persons with fibroids have no symptoms, or only mild symptoms. Some women however experience severe symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms and symptoms of uterine fibroids:
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
- Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
- Pelvic pain (from tumour pressing on pelvic organs)
- Frequent urination
- Low back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Large tumours can cause obvious lower abdominal swelling that can be seen, or felt by the doctor on examination.
Diagnosis and treatment of fibroid
The diagnosis of Fibroid usually starts with a history and physical examination at your doctor’s office. If your presentation suggests fibroid as the cause of your condition, the doctor may request some imaging tests to confirm his findings. Examples of imaging tests that could be use include – pelvic ultrasound, hysteroscopy and even sometimes blood tests to check for complications like anaemia.
Treatment plans are arrived at by considering factors like age, reproductive career and patient’s preferences. Options include but are not limited to either surgical removal of a fibroid tumour or medical management.
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