What is and when should a uterine fibroid be removed?

At the Unidad de la Mujer we always emphasize the importance of routine gynecological check-ups. They make a huge difference when facing different diseases, helping to early detection and allowing a less aggressive and much more effective treatment.

However, it is not advisable to be alarmist, since most of the anomalies detected in these medical appointments are usually benign —although in these cases routine check-ups also acquire a fundamental importance, since they prevent a mild pathology from becoming a serious health problem-.

This is the case of fibroids, benign tumors that develop in the wall of the uterus and that sometimes may need specific treatments or surgery.

Fibroids: symptoms

As we have already said, a fibroid is simply a growth of the muscular tissue of the uterine wall. In fact, many fibroids are asymptomatic. Occasionally however, this anomalous growth produces a series of symptoms that will require medical or surgical treatment depending on their intensity.

Symptoms will vary according to the size of the fibroid itself and its location. These two conditions can lead to more or less abundant irregular bleeding and, if the fibroid is located in the uterine cavity, to iron deficiency anemia.

On the other hand, when the size of the benign tumor increases considerably it can compress neighboring organs, causing pain and discomforts ranging from painful sexual relations, heaviness, constant urination to dilation of the urinary tract.

Other symptom that warns of the possible presence of one or fibroids is dysmenorrhea or abnormally painful menstrual periods.

Fibroids: treatments and surgery

Once the necessary tests have been performed to determine the scope of the fibroid (pelvic examination, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, saline infusion ultrasound, hysteroscopy or endometrial biopsy), the control of the symptoms will be the top priority.

The treatment will depend on the age of the patient, her general health, the symptoms, the specific type of fibroids (subserosal: located on the surface of the uterus, intramural: in the uterine wall or submucosal: inside the uterus) and on whether she is pregnant or planning to have children. Treatments may include contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, tranexamic acid, analgesics, hormone therapy injections…

If the treatment does not work and symptoms persist, then a more invasive intervention will be necessary. In this case, we also find different procedures: hysteroscopy —to eliminate fibroid inside the uterus, embolization of the uterine arteries —to stop the blood flow to the fibroid and shrink and die, myomectomy —surgery to remove the uterine arteries fibroids, and hysterectomy  —surgery to remove the uterus (indicated for those women who do not want to be mothers or who have already seen this wish fulfilled).

We hope this article has been useful for you. You will find further information at the website of the Unidad de la Mujer. You can also contact us at the number (+34) 917 303 673

Leave a reply