Welcome friends. So today, we will be continuing by talking about the risk factors, signs and symptoms, as well as means of diagnosis for uterine fibroids.
Uterine fibroids form from a stem cell i.e. a single cell line in the muscular layer of the uterus. One single cell divides many times forming a firm, rubbery mass that is different from the near by tissue. The way the fibroids grow differ; they may grow slowly or relatively faster, they might increase in size, reduce in size or remain the same. Generally fibroids shrink after menopause as hormonal levels falls significantly.
Race : Women of black races are likely to have fibroids than any other racial groups. They are also more likely to have them at a younger age, and are also more likely to have larger fibroids, and more severe symptoms.
Hereditary: If ones mother or sister has fibroids it is more likely that such person develops fibroids.
Onset of menstruation at an early age
Deficiency in Vitamin D
Diets high in red meat, low in vegetable and fibres
Many women with fibroids do not have any symptoms. The presence of symptoms is dependent on the location, size, number of fibroids and desire for fertility. Common symptoms include:
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Prolonged periods of menstrual bleeding (>7 days)
Pelvic pressure and pain
Difficulty emptying the bladder
Backache or leg pain
Most fibroids are incidentally found during a pelvic examination. If they have symptom of uterine fibroid, your doctor might order these tests-
Ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to get a picture of the uterus and also helps to measure the sizes of the fibroids.
Haematological investigations: if you have symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding, your doctor might include a full blood count to determine if your blood levels are low, as well as other test to rule out other bleeding disorders or other possible aetiologies.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): this test can show in more details the size, location, and type of tumour. It could help in determining the best treatment option possible.
Hysterosonography: Hysterosonography also called saline infusion sonogram, uses sterile saline to expand the uterine cavity, that is the space in the womb, in order to get images of fibroid in the inner part of the womb, as these fibroids can make getting pregnant difficult or cause heavy menstrual bleeding.
Hysterosalphinography: This test uses a dye to highlight the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes.
Hysteroscopy: in this, the doctor inserts a small lighted telescope into the uterus through the cervix, thus examining the uterus and the opening of the fallopian tubes.
Next week, we’ll talk about the treatment options opened to Miss. Oby
Dr Oluwafemi Toluwalase O. is a medical doctor who completed her medical degree from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (MB;BS Lagos). She is also the medical team lead of The Girls’ World Initiative, an NGO focused on girl child empowerment, adolescent health, and sexual purity which has impacted a lot of young females since inception.
She also has a certificate from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on COVID-19: tackling the novel coronavirus. She has a passion for medical literature and any form of digital healthcare as she believes a lot can still be done as regards technology in the healthcare space as well as in medical education. She is a Christian and hobbies range from reading, cooking, writing and editing.