Think of uterine fibroids as little tumours ganging up inside your uterus and creating havoc - from excruciating pelvic pain, pressure on the bladder to heavy period flow. There are surgical and non-surgical ways to treat it.
What are uterine fibroid?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous or benign tumors found in the female reproductive system located in the uterus. They are primarily made up of same smooth muscle tissues as the uterine wall. They grow in a single form or in clusters too. They range in different sizes and are found in the different locations of the uterus.
Diagnosis, symptoms and treatment :
Pelvic exam and an Ultrasound exam are the most convenient and inexpensive method. MRI and CT scan are also used by the physician but ultrasound remains the best choice.
Symptoms and causes
Since the cause remain unknown, a routine checkup with the gynecologist is suggested. From a patient point of view following symptoms are likely to show presence of fibroids:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Pressure on bladder with frequent urination
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Lower back and leg pain
The exact cause remain unknown, but clinical studies may have found the interlink factors which may be the cause of uterine fibroids.
1.Hormones specifically estrogen which play an important role in female reproduction.
2.Genetic factor- A family history is one major reason for your fibroids. That’s why an early detection is key to stay updated with the health.
3.Other hormones- pregnancy, stress and other health-related issues may lead to increase or decrease in the levels of the hormones such as progesterone and estrogen.
Non-surgical or Medications
Painkillers and Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists are primarily used as anti-inflammatory and hormonal therapy respectively.
There are several surgical methods- hysterectomy, myomectomy, MRI- gided high intensity focused ultrasound and uterine artery embolization are some new and old procedure to treat uterine fibroids.
What is MRgFUS?
Magnetic resonance-guided focused Ultrasound commonly known as MRgFUS. It is a non-invasive technique which uses MRI thermal imaging system. It is FDA approved and fairly new technique used for the treatment of uterine fibroids. The treatment provides relief from pelvic pain and heavy bleeding on periods and fibroids symptoms. It is gaining popularity for its non-invasive treatment alternative to medical and surgical methods in uterine fibroid treatment. It also has minimal risks as compared to myomectomy and hysterectomy.
How it works
Fibroids are a benign tumor with abnormal growth in women’s uterus. The high-intensity ultrasound waves generated from the ultrasound probe are focused on fibroids causing the temperature to rise and ultimately death of fibroids. It is performed by administering mild sedation to avoid any discomfort or sensation.
The entire process of MRgFUS is performed on an outpatient basis and the patient can resume everyday activities within few days. The patient improvement is gradual from the procedure. Uterine fibroids are very common and approximately one in four women are suffering from no symptoms at all. But in some cases symptoms such as prolonged periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and frequent urination are troublesome.
The procedure of MRgFUS works in series of pulse of ultrasound which destroys the fibroids. The procedure is also known as focused ultrasound surgery which is under magnetic resonance to target the fibroids so that the healthy tissue are not harmed.
- MRgFUS offer numerous benefits. It is an effective alternative to open surgery or hormonal treatment.
- No long hospital stay
- Non-invasive, bloodless surgery
- The quality of life is preserved by decreased bleeding from fibroids and reduced urinary and pelvic pressure.
The clinical outcomes of MRgFUS are of significant numbers and with close follow-up the results are satisfactory. Many women have gone to have normal pregnancies and deliveries after this MRgFUS procedure.