Whether you have a pea-sized fibroid inside you or a softball, if it’s. non-cancerous there’s no major reason to worry. Here are some common myths busted.
Think about the term Uterine Fibroids. Sounds like a really scary disease or some sort of tumor growth, doesn’t it? Well, you’re partially correct. It is a type of tumor, specifically the most frequently seen tumor of the female reproductive system.
“Well if it’s a tumor you say, then I should be worried?”
With the negative connotation associated with the word “tumor”, the most common reaction I get is all my aunties gasping in fear and telling me to rush to the doctor immediately. But with this read I’ll bust some common myths about fibroids and let those aunties know that “tumor” can be quite normal after all.
Coming back to Fibroids, (also known as uterine myomas) they are compact tumours that are estimated to be present in 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age. Some even say that about 33- 77 percent of women develop fibroids sometime during their childbearing years.
But what causes the above mentioned “fibroids?” To understand them, you must first understand the uterus, or the womb of the female reproductive system. Composed of neat layers of muscle fibres, it is connected to a woman’s two ovaries by a pair of Fallopian tubes. Fibroids develop in the uterus when some of these muscle fibres start to grow out of control and form circular masses of tissue called “Myomas.” You may be surprised to know that in more than 99 per cent of fibroid cases in women, the tumours are benign (non-cancerous).
They may range in size, however, from the size of a pea to the size of a softball, but in any case are not associated with cancer and do not increase a woman's risk for uterine cancer.
“So what are all these uterine tumour cases I’ve been hearing about?”
You’ve heard right. The mere mention of the word “fibroids” strike fear and dread in the wombs of most women. And for good reason- in the past, where medicine and technology wasn’t as updated as we see today, a diagnosis of fibroid tumor was always bad news for women who wished to have children. This was because then, the only treatment offered to those with severe fibroids was hysterectomy- the removal of the uterus (or in other words the hope of motherhood). But today, thanks to this article and the developing field of the biological sciences, such myths are demystified.
But the conception that all tumors are harmless, is also not to be believed. Remember how I told you that tumors range in size? Well, this happens due to the influence of estrogen in the female’s body. The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the fibroid, the easier it is to treat. Usually, doctors compare the size of the fibroids to round objects such as fruit. That’s maybe why you’ll keep hearing it being the size of a grapefruit or pea. Tumors larger in size can potentially harm the female reproductive system. Also, women who are approaching menopause are at the greatest risk for fibroids because of their long exposure to high levels of estrogen. Women who are obese and of African-American heritage also seem to be at an increased risk, although the reasons for this are not clearly understood.
“It all still sounds scary” I understand. Health is never something to be taken lightly So no tumour humour in this article. To recognise the risk uterine fibroids poses to your body, it’s always good to consult your doctor about it. Signs like a protruding belly, heavy or prolonged menstrual periods and abdominal pain are the most frequent signs and symptoms of fibroids (More about this would be discussed in the next article!) But this article reassures you to just got to go with the “flow”, and not worry about it too much. Moreover, be aware of what’s happening inside your body and be sure to take good care of it.
Read the following article to know more about the symptoms, and what precautions or treatment options exists, both surgical and non-surgical like MR Guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) for one to be safe and resume normal life!