Uterine Fibroids FAQs
Following are the common questions about Uterine Fibroids:
- Why do uterine fibroids occur?
- Are uterine fibroids life-threatening?
- What are the signs that you should consult a gynecologist?
- What should I eat if I have uterine fibroids?
- What should I avoid during uterine fibroids?
- Do uterine fibroids affect fertility?
- Can uterine fibroids go on their own?
- Who is at higher risk of developing uterine fibroids?
- Are there different types of uterine fibroids?
- Can uterine fibroids be left untreated?
- Do uterine fibroids affect pregnancy?
- How do uterine fibroids and cysts differ from each other?
- Can I prevent uterine fibroids from developing?
- What is the most effective treatment for uterine fibroids?
- Can uterine fibroids affect body weight?
- What is the cost of uterine fibroids treatment?
Q. Why do uterine fibroids occur?
A. Uterine fibroids are usually referred to as abnormal growth that emerges around the uterus. The reason for the occurrence of uterine fibroids may differ from one woman to another. The most common reasons are:
- Hormonal changes
- During pregnancy
Q. Are uterine fibroids life-threatening?
A. Uterine fibroids are not life-threatening or dangerous. They are benign growths that occur on the lining of the uterus. In some cases, uterine fibroids do not bother if they are small in size and lesser in number. However, in other cases, uterine fibroids can be symptomatic in other cases, like constant fatigue, irregular periods, or excessive cramping, and generally affect the quality of life.
Q. What are the signs that you should consult a gynecologist?
A. If you experience any of the following signs or odd symptoms, it is always advisable to consult an experienced gynecologist for a thorough diagnosis to get proper treatment:
- Irregular periods
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- Extremely painful cramps
- Pain during intercourse
- Feeling of heaviness in the lower abdominal area
- Pain in the pelvis area
- Blood clots during the menstruation cycle
- Spotting even after periods are over
- Swelling in the pelvis area
- Urge of urinating frequently
- Burning sensation while passing the urine
Q. What should I eat if I have uterine fibroids?
A. It is always the right choice to maintain a healthy diet plan while enhancing your meal with the following food items in order to keep uterine fibroids from progressing:
- Dry fruits
- Whole grain pasta and bread
- Green vegetables
Q. What should I avoid during uterine fibroids?
A. There are certain things you can avoid if you have uterine fibroids because doing so can aggravate the symptoms as well as worsen the condition. According to the clinical studies, the following are the things you should avoid:
- Avoid eating processed food items
- Try eliminating fried foods from your diet
- Exclude high-fat dairy products from your diet
- Refrain from smoking
- Avoid intake of excessive caffeine
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages
Q. Do uterine fibroids affect fertility?
A. If uterine fibroids are minor, they usually do not bother. However, if they are multiple in number and larger in size, such uterine fibroids can affect fertility in women. Uterine fibroids generally cause irregular periods and may interfere with ovulation. In most cases, if the uterine fibroids are submucosal, they may hinder the conception or maintaining pregnancy.
Q. Can uterine fibroids go on their own?
A. In some cases, fibroids may go away on their own if the estrogen levels in the body decrease. This typically happens during menopause but may also occur while taking certain medications, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists or antagonists.
Q. Who is at higher risk of developing uterine fibroids?
A. Following are some women that are at higher risk of developing uterine fibroids:
- Women who are obese or overweight are prone to get uterine fibroids
- Women who are in their 30s and 40s are more vulnerable to developing uterine fibroids
- Women who are pregnant can also develop fibroids
- Women with a family history of uterine fibroids are also at higher risk of developing it.
Q. Are there different types of uterine fibroids?
A. There are four different types of uterine fibroids that can occur either in or on the lining of the uterus:
- Submucosal fibroids- These fibroids are not common as compared to other uterine fibroids and usually occur in the middle muscle layer of the uterus.
- Subserosal fibroids- These are the fibroids that usually occur on the outside lining of the uterus that is referred to as serosa.
- Pedunculated fibroids- When the subserosal fibroids develop a stem and look like a slender base that is supporting the benign tumor are known as pedunculated fibroids.
- Intramural fibroids- These are the most common type of uterine fibroids that occur within the muscular wall of the uterus.
Q. Can uterine fibroids be left untreated?
A. Uterine fibroids that are minor and asymptomatic can be left untreated but should be maintained through a healthy lifestyle. However, uterine fibroids that are large in size and multiple in numbers should not be left treated. Leaving symptomatic fibroids can make the condition worse and lead to serious health issues. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult an experienced gynecologist to get proper treatment for uterine fibroids.
Q. Do uterine fibroids affect pregnancy?
A. Yes. When the uterine fibroids are larger in size or multiple in number, they can affect the normal functioning of the uterus. Not taking medical advice or prolonged cases of uterine fibroids can increase the risk of cesarean birth, breech birth, and preterm deliveries in pregnant women. In rare cases, untreated fibroids can lead to frequent miscarriages during the first or second trimester.
Q. How do uterine fibroids and cysts differ from each other?
A. Uterine fibroids and cysts are two different conditions. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous muscular growths that usually occur on or in the lining of the uterus. In comparison, cysts are fluid-filled cavities that develop specifically on the ovaries. The causes and symptoms of ovarian cysts, as well as uterine fibroids, are kind of similar. Generally, they both are the byproduct of hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, or genetic factors.
Q. Can I prevent uterine fibroids from developing?
A. Yes. One can prevent uterine fibroids from developing or progressing if they are in the early stage. There are some following tips that may help you prevent the condition:
- Adopt healthy lifestyle choices
- Doing regular exercises to maintain healthy body weight
- Refrain from smoking
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
- Eat fruits and vegetables
Q. What is the most effective treatment for uterine fibroids?
A. The gynecologist will conduct a physical examination while touching the abdominal area by putting a slight pressure with fingers to check the tenderness and swelling. The doctor will recommend some diagnostic tests to detect the severity of uterine fibroids in order to initiate the treatment. After diagnosing the condition thoroughly, the doctor will determine the best-suited treatment for uterine fibroids. Following are the treatments that are usually performed to treat uterine fibroids:
- Forced ultrasound surgery (FUS)
- Myolysis procedures to shrink fibroids
- Uterine artery embolization
Q. Can uterine fibroids affect body weight?
A. Uterine fibroids have a tendency to grow in size and can also in multiple numbers, which may result in increased body weight. Larger fibroids may cause a female to gain weight, giving it an appearance of normal belly fat. Hence, the more the fibroid grows, the heavier it will become.
Q. What is the cost of uterine fibroids treatment?
A. The average cost of uterine fibroids may range between Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 1,50,000. However, the mentioned is an average cost which may differ from the final cost of the uterine fibroids treatment depending on the various factors such as:
- The type of technique used for the treatment
- The general fees of a gynecologist
- The type of uterine fibroids
- The severity of the condition
- Medication prescribed by the gynecologist during the treatment
- Diagnostic tests one needs to get during the treatment, etc