Uterine fibroids, symptoms, treatment and pregnancy with a benign tumor
Myoma is a benign tumor in the muscle or connective tissue of the uterus that occurs in every fifth woman after 30 years. What triggers the development of fibroids, what happens to the tumor during pregnancy, what symptoms can occur and how to treat?
Causes of uterine fibroids
Gynecologists consider the main reason for the development of uterine fibroids – hormonal changes, disruptions due to the growth of estrogen. In some cases, fibroids can disappear on their own, with the onset of menopause. Then the amount of estrogen falls for natural reasons. Nevertheless, counting on such an outcome is not recommended. If you suspect the presence of fibroids, you should consult a doctor.
Damage to the uterus can also be factors in the development of the disease, which include:
curettage and abortion;
chronic inflammation of the uterus.
A catalyst for fibroids can also be factors such as: the appearance of the disease can be a number of factors:
metabolic disorders in the body;
disruptions in the menstrual cycle;
lack of orgasm;
At risk are women under 35 years old who have metabolic disorders and overweight. Myoma is more common in women who have never given birth than in those who have given birth to a child at least once.
Nutrition also plays a significant role in the formation of fibroids. So with a diet in which fatty acids prevail and high calorie foods can affect the hormonal balance. And this can affect estrogens and their increase.
Anorgasmia is also considered one of the catalysts for a benign tumor. The fact is that arousal entails an influx of blood to the pelvic organs. And the absence of orgasm can cause stagnation of blood and overstrain of blood vessels.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids
In many cases, a developing myoma may not produce any symptoms. For this reason, many women do not suspect the presence of this problem. Often, uterine fibroids are diagnosed “accidentally”, with a routine examination by a gynecologist or with complaints of other problems.
Symptoms of a fibroid can begin to give only when its size becomes significant. These symptoms include:
spotting in the middle of the cycle;
pain in the lower abdomen;
a feeling of “constriction” in the pelvis;
an increase in the size of the abdomen;
When fibroids reach large sizes in the absence of appropriate treatment, other symptoms may be added:
constipation (due to compression of the organs);
anemia (with large blood loss);
difficulties in conceiving a child.
Fibroids during pregnancy
Many are concerned about the question of what happens to uterine fibroids during pregnancy. There are many myths around pregnancy and fibroids. Some are convinced that pregnancy can reduce the tumor or even cure it. Others are convinced that myoma will grow even more.
The size of the tumor may vary depending on the hormonal background, which changes throughout pregnancy.
Up to 8 weeks of pregnancy, progesterone levels are actively increasing, which can lead to a slight increase in a benign tumor.
And in the last trimester, progesterone drops, which leads to a decrease in the size of fibroids to a previous state.
However, in most cases, pregnancy does not affect the size of the tumor. However, if a pregnant woman is diagnosed with fibroids, it should be monitored by a gynecologist.
Childbirth with uterine myoma
When choosing a delivery (natural or cesarean section), the gynecologist relies on the size of the tumor and its location.
If the size of the fibroids is more than 5 centimeters, the tumor node is located in the area of the uterine isthmus, and there are also scars after removal of the tumor – this is an indication for cesarean section. And with natural childbirth, there is a high risk of opening bleeding and difficulties with the passage of the child through the birth canal.
After childbirth during breastfeeding, the size of the fibroids may be slightly reduced. This is due to the influence of the hormone prolactin. But in the end, the tumor, in most cases, returns to its original state, as before birth.
The risks of developing fibroids increase with the onset of a new pregnancy. There is also the possibility of a miscarriage. Therefore, it is important to treat the tumor before planning a pregnancy.
Diagnosis and treatment
The problem with diagnosing uterine fibroids is that normal hormonal levels based on blood tests cannot guarantee the absence of a tumor. Therefore, for accurate diagnosis, more detailed studies of the uterus are required, which include:
Ultrasound – to localize and measure the tumor;
hysteroscopy – examination of the uterus using a hysteroscope;
laparoscopy – examination of the uterus by puncture of the abdominal wall and the introduction of the instrument.
The doctor may prescribe other tests individually for large fibroids and the risks of transformation into a malignant tumor (MRI, urography, colposcopy and other studies).