How do painful fibroids grow?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus. While many women may have fibroids without experiencing any symptoms, some may experience pain and discomfort due to the growth of these fibroids.
Fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomas, are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. They can vary in size, ranging from as small as a seed to as large as a grapefruit. Fibroids can grow inside the uterus, on the outer surface of the uterus, or within the uterine wall.
Causes of fibroid growth
The exact cause of fibroid growth is still unknown. However, several factors may contribute to their development and enlargement:
- Hormonal imbalances: Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle, are believed to play a role in fibroid growth. Fibroids tend to grow during reproductive years when hormone levels are higher.
- Genetic factors: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing fibroids. If your mother or sister has fibroids, you may be at a higher risk of developing them as well.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of fibroid growth.
- Age: Fibroids are more common in women aged 30-40, although they can occur at any age.
- Race: African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids and experience symptoms compared to women of other races.
Symptoms of painful fibroids
While some women may have fibroids without any symptoms, others may experience:
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Lower back pain
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Enlarged abdomen
- Infertility or recurrent miscarriages (in rare cases)
If you are experiencing painful fibroids, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the best treatment options for your specific case. Treatment options may include:
- Medications: Certain medications can help manage symptoms and shrink fibroids by regulating hormone levels.
- Non-invasive procedures: Procedures such as uterine artery embolization (UAE) or magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) can be used to shrink or destroy fibroids without surgery.
- Surgical options: In more severe cases, surgical interventions such as myomectomy (removal of fibroids) or hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be recommended.
It is important to note that treatment options may vary depending on the size, location, and severity of the fibroids, as well as your overall health and future fertility goals.
Painful fibroids can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Understanding the causes and symptoms of fibroid growth can help women seek appropriate medical care and explore treatment options that best suit their needs. If you suspect you may have fibroids or are experiencing symptoms, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.