What Are Fibroids?

Fibroids are benign, non-cancerous growths within the muscles of the uterus. While many women can be affected, they are most common in women over fifty. It is not completely understood why fibroids form, though it has been suggested that they are abnormal muscle cells multiplying too rapidly in the presence of oestrogen. They can be divided into three main types:

Functionally, this means the growths can bulge from inside or outside the uterus itself, causing excessive menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, problems with fertility and pressure on the body. Though most fibroids are small, some even microscopic, they can grow almost as large as a grapefruit in some circumstances— as a result, it is a good idea to get them treated.


How Are Fibroids Diagnosed?

Fibroids are typically either diagnosed through a visual examination, as they are physical growths and unlikely to require any rigorous testing. Depending on the type or size of the fibroid, you might undergo an ultrasound or a hysteroscopy. An ultrasound can scan your uterus and ovaries to detect abnormalities without the need for anaesthesia or surgery. Though able to be performed externally, it will most likely be performed vaginally. In this case, a wand-like device called a transducer is inserted into your vagina to send out sound waves and gather the reflections, which your doctor can then examine more closely.

A hysteroscopy is a procedure involving a small, narrow telescope inserted through the vagina to examine your uterus. This can be performed while awake or under anaesthetic; whichever you are more comfortable with. The main advantage of the hysteroscopy is that it allows your doctor to remove small fibroids at the same time as they are discovered, with small tools being inserted through the telescope to cut the growths out.


How Are Fibroids Treated?

Generally speaking, fibroids may be removed surgically or relieved with medications. Smaller fibroids (and their symptoms) are more easily treated with medicine, while larger ones may necessitate surgery to have them removed.

Medical Treatment

Medications for fibroids target the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle, treating symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. These can include:

Surgical Treatment

Where medical treatment has not worked, or more permanent solutions are desired, there are several surgical options, ranging from minimally invasive procedures to major surgeries:

Like with any surgical procedures, there are always potential risks and complications. Discuss with your doctor what surgery is recommended for you, and what the potential things to be aware of might be. Though fibroids are non-cancerous, they can easily become uncomfortable, painful, or impact your quality of life— don’t hesitate to enquire about treatment options that suit you.


If you are experiencing the symptoms of Fibroids, make an appointment with Dr.Nicole Stamatopoulos here.