Understanding Fibroids – The Simplified Version

woman-with-upper-stomach-pain

Let’s face it, if you’re a woman in your child-bearing years, you’re highly likely to be familiar with the word ‘fibroids’. The good news is that as far as tumors go (fibroids are a benign version) they very rarely become cancerous.  Moreover, they aren’t usually associated with an increased risk.

The problem with fibroids (or rather, the explanation behind them) is that there are many different classifications. As such it can be extremely confusing to anyone who isn’t a medical expert to fully understand their condition. However, in this post, we’re going to try and simplify the explanation down to just 4 different types of fibroids depending upon where they form in the womb. So let’s dive in and take a closer look.

Types of fibroids

As already mentioned fibroids can develop anywhere in the womb and can vary in size considerably. They can be the size of a pea, but equally, they can be the size of a melon.

The main types of fibroids are as follows:

Intramural fibroids – This is by far the most common type of fibroid and is thought to be present in around 70% of all fibroid cases. They develop inside the muscle wall of the womb itself. Typically, intramural fibroids are slow-growing and are usually discovered during a routine pelvic or abdominal examination. Many people who have intramural fibroids experience mild symptoms such as occasional back pain of heavier bleeding during their menstrual cycle, while others, experience no symptoms at all.

Subserosal fibroids – when it comes to types of fibroids, the subserosal variety can become very large. Unlike intramural fibroids, they develop outside of the wall of the womb into the pelvis area. They can also develop into what is known as a pedunculated fibroid. This is where the growth develops a stalk and if large enough can cause pressure on the bladder and bowel causing a constant urge to go to the bathroom.

Submucosal fibroids – These are among the least common type and are thought to be present in around 5% of all fibroids cases. As the name suggests they develop in the submucosa (the area just below the thin tissue lining found in the uterus. Submucosal fibroids can protrude into the uterine cavity and when they do, they can (in around 1-2% of cases) lead to infertility issues

Cervical fibroids – These types of fibroid form in the neck of the womb area. While not all cervical fibroids will cause problems, many do. These include irregular or heavy bleeding during periods, painful sexual intercourse and in some cases vaginal discharge.

Treating the various types fibroids

If you are diagnosed with fibroids but suffer no symptoms, then don’t be surprised if your doctor suggests that they don’t need to be treated. Over time, particularly after menopause when estrogen levels drop, fibroids tend to shrink.

On the contrary for those who do suffer one or more symptoms, then the good news is that treatment is available for all types of fibroids. This can be in the form of both non-surgical and surgical methods and can include;

  • Taking medications to help shrink larger fibroids
  • Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) a non-surgical pinhole treatment designed to deprive the fibroid of nutrients
  • Undergoing a myomectomy – the surgical removal of a fibroid without removing the uterus
  • Hysterectomy – The surgical removal of the entire uterus, typically used as a last resort in extreme cases.

Here at the Midwest Institute of Non-Surgical Therapy, we specialize in treating fibroids using the uterine fibroid embolization method. Treatment is carried out with minimal discomfort and full recovery is typical within 1-2 days.

If you are concerned about your fibroid problems then come and talk to Dr. Akinwande and the team. We are highly skilled in the art of gentle care using cutting-edge techniques and are confident that we can get you back to better health in no time at all. Don’t let your fibroid problems stand in the way of living your life, call us today to book a consultation.

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