Fibroids are often compared to walnut, acorn and various other sizes, may even be painless. But only a regular pelvic check up of the uterus, ovaries and vagina can be an adequate safeguard, of course followed by the right treatment.
Your doctor may find that you have uterine fibroids when you see her or him for a regular pelvic exam to check your uterus, ovaries, and vagina. The doctor can feel the fibroid with her or his fingers during an ordinary pelvic exam, as a (usually painless) lump or mass on the uterus. Although most people aren’t comfortable getting this done, it is highly advised to get regular pelvic examinations to be safe. After all, it is better to reassure your health than restrict it.
The doctor will describe how small or how large the fibroids are by comparing their size to the size your uterus would be if you were pregnant. For example, you may be told that your fibroids have made your uterus the size it would be if you were 16 weeks pregnant. Or the fibroid might be compared to fruits, nuts, or a ball, such as a grape or an orange, an acorn or a walnut. (If you’ve read my previous article, you’ll know all about this!)
To be even more sure, your doctor can advise you getting “imaging” tests done ie, conducting tests that create a "picture" of the inside of your body without surgery.
What is ultrasound?
Ever heard of Ultrasound? Sure you have! It’s one of the most common and effective procedures to produce an internal image. It uses sound waves to produce the picture. The ultrasound probe can be placed on the abdomen or it can be placed inside the vagina to make the picture.
X-rays, pretty self-explanatory. It uses a form of radiation to see into the body and produce the picture. I’m sure all of us have got it done once before. Its that’s simple for fibroids too! Many X-ray pictures of the body from different angles for a more complete image can also be taken. This is known as a Cat Scan (CT).
Hysterosalpingogram. I know. Try saying it fast 5 times. An HSG involves injecting x-ray dye into the uterus and taking x-ray pictures. Another one of these is a sonohysterogram, which involves injecting water into the uterus and making ultrasound pictures.
Owing to the above being non-surgical methods, doctors can also offer a range of surgical procedures for advanced detection of fibroids. They may include a Laparoscopy or a Hysteroscopy which involves inserting a thin, long scope with a light through the cervix, with or without a tiny incision near the navel. Cameras are attached, whose images can be monitored on a screen.
The bad thing about these evasive fibroids is that most women don’t even experience the symptoms despite having a case of fibroids. What symptoms? Read my previous article explaining major symptoms related to the same. But wait! Before you head on there, read on to know about the plethora of treatments doctors can offer you to treat your fibroids.
What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?
If you have fibroids and have mild symptoms, your doctor may suggest taking medication. Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for mild pain. If you have heavy bleeding during your period, taking an iron supplement can keep you from getting anemia or correct it if you already are anaemic.
Several drugs commonly used for birth control can be prescribed to help co
ntrol symptoms of fibroids. Low-dose birth control pills do not make fibroids grow and can help control heavy bleeding. But remember! Never intake medication without consulting a doctor first!
Treatment of uterine fibroids?
If you have uterine fibroids with moderate or severe symptoms, surgery may be the best way to treat them. The surgery to remove fibroids without taking out the healthy tissue of the uterus is known as myomectomy. It is best for women who wish to have children after treatment for their fibroids or who wish to keep their uterus for other reasons. It can be major surgery (involving cutting into the abdomen) or performed with laparoscopy or hysteroscopy. The type of surgery that can be done depends on the type, size, and location of the fibroids. After myomectomy new fibroids can grow and cause trouble later.
The sure shot way to get rid of Uterine Myomas is, you guessed it- Hysterectomy or complete removal of the uterus. This surgery is the only sure way to cure uterine fibroids. Fibroids are the most common reason that hysterectomy is performed. This surgery is used when a woman's fibroids are large, if she has heavy bleeding, is either near or past menopause, or does not want children.
Lastly (at least last of the one’s I’m going to talk about) is MRgFUS. I couldn’t pronounce it either.