Do you (or your partner experience) heavy menstrual bleeding or pain in the pelvis? These symptoms could indicate the presence of uterine fibroids. More commonly known as fibroids, these are tumours in the uterus or on its wall. Though they do not pose any threat to your survival, they can greatly affect your normal life functioning. They are common in women during their 30s and 40s but can develop at any age.
Interestingly, these uninvited roommates inside your womb may not always give clear signs of their presence. A healthy lifestyle may help you prevent it naturally, but only a medical professional can accurately diagnose, manage, and treat this disorder. To know more about this, you can book a consultation with an experienced doctor at one of the best maternity centres in Chandigarh and Mohali – Dr. Sodhi’s Health Care Multispecialty Hospital & IVF Centre.
Can Fibroids Affect Fertility And Pregnancy?
This is perhaps a million-dollar question for women with fibroids. Yes, fibroids can sometimes affect fertility. Fibroids may block the fallopian tubes or cause problems related to fertilization of the egg. During pregnancy, they can give rise to complications, miscarriages, premature birth, or the need for a cesarean section (C-section). However, many women still manage to have healthy pregnancies and deliveries.
What Causes Uterine Fibroids?
So far, no precise causes of uterine fibroids have been identified by doctors or researchers. But the following factors can be responsible for this condition:
- Hormones & Genetics – Uterine fibroids seemed to be influenced by genes and/or hormonal changes. The imbalance of estrogen and progesterone (hormones responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle) can also cause the growth of fibroids. Additionally, having a family history of this disorder can make you susceptible.
- Obesity and Unhealthy Diet – Your dietary habits and overall body weight play a great role in the development of fibroids. Deficiencies in the body caused by the absence of green vegetables, fruits, and dairy products in your diet are also the major causes.
- Increased ECM – The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a substance that acts as a binding material for cells. Any abnormal increase in the ECM causes stiffness in the cells that cause the growth of fibroids.
Some Signs and Symptoms
As discussed before, the formation of fibroids in your body may or may not always have clear signs. However, some of the most common symptoms are:
- Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Excessive flow of blood during periods (menorrhagia) is one of the key symptoms of uterine fibroids. Usually, women with fibroids experience prolonged and heavy periods, which can lead to anemia too. But before you do the self-diagnosis, always make sure to consult a specialist and know the exact cause of this heavy bleeding.
- Pain During Intercourse: Your pelvic organs may feel pain or discomfort while having sex. This can be fibroids putting pressure on the pelvis muscles, also causing pain in your back and legs.
- Frequent Urination: The urge to urinate often can be related to large fibroids in your uterus. They can exert pressure on the bladder, resulting in increased frequency of urination.
- Other Symptoms: Abnormal or chronic vaginal discharge, bloating, constipation, and other such uneasiness related to lower abdomen areas may point to fibroids.
Common Diagnosis and Medical Assessment
If you think that you may have uterine fibroids or are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, it is necessary to get a diagnosis. The healthcare providers at Dr. Sodhi’s Multispeciality & IVF Center, the best maternity hospital in Mohali, use 4 main diagnostic techniques:
1. Hysteroscopy and Pelvic Examination: Hysteroscopy is a way for doctors to look inside a woman’s uterus using a tiny camera to help diagnose and treat problems like abnormal bleeding or growth. Additionally, they can perform a pelvic examination to check for fibroids by feeling the uterus and surrounding areas.
2. Ultrasound: Anything not clearly detected in hysteroscopy can be better understood with ultrasound. This can help confirm the presence of fibroids, determine their size, and find their specific location within the uterus.
3. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Like the imaging tests mentioned above, an MRI scan also provides images of the uterus but in a more detailed way. This is specifically useful when your doctor plans a surgical intervention.
4. Hysterosonography: A sterile saltwater solution is poured into the uterus to expand its cavity. This offers a clearer visualization of the interior of the uterus, helping to assess the presence of fibroids.
After diagnosis, your doctor can talk to you about the best treatment choices based on your situation and what you prefer.
The Best Treatment Options For Fibroids
1. Medications: When fibroids cause problems, medicines can help. Birth control pills and similar hormones can make heavy periods and cramps better. Sometimes, doctors give a medicine called GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonists to shrink fibroids for a while by lowering estrogen. They can also prescribe pain pills to ease fibroid-related pain.
2. Minimally Invasive Procedures: If you have troublesome fibroid symptoms, there are less invasive ways to treat them. These methods try to either take out the fibroids or make them smaller without using major surgeries. Some common options include:
- Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE): During this procedure, a specialist uses X-rays to put small particles into the blood vessels that go to the fibroids. This blocks their blood supply, making them smaller and usually making the symptoms better.
- Endometrial Ablation: Endometrial ablation is a treatment for heavy periods caused by fibroids. In this simple procedure, a doctor uses things like laser, heat, or freezing to remove the lining of the uterus. It doesn’t get rid of the fibroids, but it can stop or greatly reduce heavy bleeding.
- Focused Ultrasound Surgery (FUS): FUS or MR-guided focused ultrasound, uses strong sound waves to warm up and get rid of fibroids. It’s a treatment that doesn’t need any cuts in your body and can be an option instead of surgery for some people.
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) – In this treatment, doctors use heat to shrink or get rid of the fibroids. It’s less invasive than surgery and can be an option for some fibroid cases.
3. Hysterectomy: It is a surgery doctors might suggest if fibroids are causing big problems that can’t be fixed with other treatments. They take out the uterus, which can get rid of the fibroids, but it also means you can’t have kids anymore.
4. Myomectomy: A myomectomy is an operation where a surgeon takes out the fibroids but keeps the uterus. It’s a good option if you want to have babies or don’t want to remove your uterus.
Apart from medical treatments, changing your lifestyle can help with fibroid symptoms. Eating well and exercising regularly can make you feel better overall and might reduce your symptoms. Managing stress with things like yoga or meditation can also help because stress can make fibroid problems worse.
Get Treated at the Best Maternity Hospital in Chandigarh
Getting medical help quickly and finding out what’s going on with your uterus is important when dealing with uterine fibroids. You must have open and thorough discussions with reliable doctors to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your situation. We at Dr. Sodhi’s Health Care Multispecialty Hospital & IVF Centre have 15+ years of experience in helping women live the healthy and happy life they deserve.
We are one of the most trusted maternity and fertility hospitals in Mohali and Chandigarh. Our group of experienced doctors has helped countless women in fighting with uterine fibroids. We also have modern equipment and methods to provide a variety of medical treatments and services, including:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) & IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)
- Egg & Sperm Donation
- 24-HOUR Pediatric Emergency
- Level II NICU
- Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)
- Blastocyst Transfer
- Embryo Hatching
- Surrogacy & more.
Don’t ignore your symptoms and book an appointment with us today!