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Jamaica Scientific Research Institute
Healing the world, one disorder at a time

FIBROIDS

A Uterine fibroid or simply Fibroid is a benign (non-cancerous) growth of the womb (uterus). They are also called uterine myomas, fibromyomas or leiomyomas.


Uterine fibroids are not associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer.

Their size can vary from as small as a pea and some can be as big as a water melon, and over time, they can increase in size, decrease in size or even go away. They can occur anywhere in the uterus and are named according to where they grow.


  • Intramural fibroids grow within the muscle tissue of the womb. This is the most common place for fibroids to form
  • Subserous fibroids grow from the outside wall of the womb into the pelvis

  • Submucous fibroids grow from the inner wall into the middle of the womb.
  • Pedunculated fibroids grow from the outside wall of the womb and are attached to it by a narrow stalk.

Uterine fibroids are quite common. As many as 1 in 5 women may have fibroids during their childbearing years (between the start of menstruation and just before menopause). Half of all women have fibroids by age 50, however, they are rare in women under age 20. They have also been found to be more common in women of African descent than in any other race.



Image Credit: Paragonobgyn.com

Cause


It is not clear why fibroids develop. What is known is that they are sensitive to oestrogen, the hormone that is made in the ovary. Fibroids tend to swell when levels of oestrogen are high - for example, during pregnancy. They also shrink when oestrogen levels are low - after the menopause. This shrinkage of the fibroids after menopause may be delayed if you take hormone replacement therapy (HRT).


Although the cause is unknown, research and clinical experience point to certain risk factors.

 

Risk factors promoting Fibroids

  • Genetic alterations. Many fibroids contain alterations in genes that are different from those in normal uterine muscle cells
  • Hormones. Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids. Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than do normal uterine muscle cells
  • Oral contraceptives. So far, strong data exist showing that women who take oral contraceptives have a lower risk of fibroids. This is generally true for all women, except those who start oral contraceptives between ages 13 and 16. Some evidence also shows that progestin-only contraceptives may decrease risk

 

  • Other chemicals. Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like growth factor, may affect fibroid growth
  • Obesity. Some studies have suggested that obese women are at higher risk of fibroids, but other studies have not shown a link
  • Heredity. If your mother or sister had fibroids, you're at increased risk of also developing them.
  • Race. Black women are more likely to have fibroids than are women of other racial groups. In addition, black women have fibroids at younger ages, and they're also likely to have more or larger fibroids.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnancy and childbirth seem to have a protective effect and may decrease your risk of developing uterine fibroids.

 

Symptoms


Fibroids, particularly when small, may be entirely asymptomatic. Symptoms depend on the location of the lesion and its size. Where symptoms exist, the most common include:

  • Heavy or painful menstrual bleeding
  • Prolonged menstrual periods — seven days or more of menstrual bleeding
  • Pelvic pressure or pain

 


  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty emptying your bladder
  • Constipation
  • Backache or leg pains
  • Pain during sexual intercourse, depending on the location of the fibroid
  • Miscarriage, bleeding, premature labor or interference with the position of the fetus during pregnancy.

If you are one of those persons who continue to suffer from this disease despite the best efforts of your doctor, it is time to consider the use of a Herbal tea drink. Talk to your doctor and then talk to us.

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