Article Centre

Celebrating Womanhood...

Uterine Fibroid, all you need to know as a woman

Uterine Fibroid, all you need to know as a woman

Uterine Fibroid symptoms, all you need to know as a woman

At the mention of fibroid, chills go down the spines of so many women. The question is why is it so?

The answer is simple; Fibroid has been perceived as such a bad ailment, which invariably inhibits women from getting pregnant and to some extent persistent miscarriage at pregnancy.

Does that pose a threat to the pride of womanhood, sure it does going by fundamental and clinical analysis as obtainable within approved and recommended standard.


uterine fibroid

Uterine Fibroid – Pictorial Guide


What is Uterine Fibroid

Uterine Fibroid is a benign (non-cancerous), firm/compact tumor made up of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissues that develops in the uterus.

This topic aims at educating women on basic things they must know about Fibroid.

From diagnosis, examinations and treatments 99.5 percent of the fibroid cases which represents a cumulative treatment count are non-cancerous.

Cancerous fibroid are rarely seen which the first thing one must know in Basic Facts a Woman must know about Fibroid.

Please note that Benign simply means non cancerous.


Optical assessment of  Uterine fibroid

Uterine leiomyoma commonly known as uterine fibroid is the most common of all pelvic tumors in women. It is composed essentially of muscle tissue although there is a variable amount of fibrous connective tissue as well.

The incidence of uterine fibroid depends on age and race. It is quite high in Nigerian women with over 80% of those above 25 years of age having Uterine fibroid if only of the size of a seedling. The vast majority of these fibroid are not symptomatic.

Uterine Fibroid are more common in Negroes, 3–9 times more than in Caucasians. They occur after menarche and the majority would undergo atrophy at menopause according to a study.


Common Symptoms of Uterine Fibroid:

The precise etiology of uterine fibroid is still unknown, but genetic determinants in addition to hormonal factors estrogen, growth hormone and epidermal growth factor, play a synergistic or facilitative role in their growth.

The predisposing factors for clinically significant fibroid are nulli-parity, obesity, and a positive family history. The combined oral contraceptive pill is said to be protective of the development of uterine fibroid in users.

The clinical symptoms and signs of uterine fibroid are variable with less than 50% being asymptomatic, one-third having abnormal uterine bleeding, and another one-third having pelvic pain usually acute, sequel to degenerative changes, torsion haemorrhage, or infection.

Other clinical features include abdominal swelling, pelvic pressure, urinary frequency, compressive bowel symptoms, and sub-fertility. In Lagos and also in other parts of Nigeria, women with uterine fibroid present late to the hospital with large tumors (uterus greater than 20-week size gestation) which cause increased morbidity and mortality.


Uterine Fibroid

Uterine Fibroid – The way to Medication


Uterine Fibroid Diagnosis:

Diagnosis of these tumors may be clinically elicited from the history and examination or incidentally during abdominal palpation in pregnancy.

Ultrasonography, hysterosalpingography, laparoscopy, and laparotomy are other diagnostic procedures for uterine fibroid.

In addition, magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography, and endoscopic diagnostic methods can also be used.


Uterine Fibroid Treatment

The treatment options for uterine Fibroid (Uterine leiomyoma) include:

  1. medication,
  2. surgery,
  3. myolysis,
  4. and uterine artery embolization.

Surgery for removal of Uterine fibroid can be by either myomectomy or hysterectomy depending on the age and parity of the women and this could be performed either through the abdomen or the vagina.

Recently, there is an increasing trend for minimal access surgery (endoscopic surgery) for treatment of uterine fibroid in developed countries.

Palliative treatment is also advocated to temporarily control abnormal uterine fibroid bleeding (menorrhagia) and this includes administration of danazol or norethisterone acetate, estrogen-progesterone preparation such as in combined oral contraception, and gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist.

Uterine fibroid could equally also be treated by embolization.

It however becomes necessary to access the knowledge, perception, and attitude of women who have uterine fibroid in Nigeria regarding the condition and to determine the factors responsible for late presentation among these women.

It is thus hoped that the result of this study would help to increase awareness and to bring in intervention to reduce late presentation by the affected women.


Uterine Fibroid Surgery

This involves the removal of Uterine fibroid from a woman’s body via surgery process, it could take varying dimensions as seen and cited by uclahealth.

Myomectomy – This is a surgery to remove Uterine fibroid without taking out the healthy tissue of the uterus. It is best for women who wish to have children after treatment for their fibroid or who wish to keep their uterus for other reasons.

You can become pregnant after myomectomy. This procedure is considered standard of care for removing fibroid and preserving the uterus.

Hysterectomy – Is the surgical removal of all or part of the uterus, or womb. The doctor may also remove the Fallopian tubes, ovaries and/or the cervix during the same surgery.

It is important to know that most women that undergoing hysterectomy DO NOT need to have their ovaries removed, and will therefore not experience menopausal symptoms after surgery.

Hysterectomies are commonly performed as final treatment option for chronic issues such as: Uterine fibroid, Endometriosis, Pelvic support problems (i.e. uterine prolapse), Abnormal uterine bleeding, Cancer, and Chronic pelvic pain.


Abdominal Myomectomy – Abdominal myomectomy removes Uterine fibroid through an incision in the abdomen, ideally a bikini line incision.

Abdominal myomectomy allows the surgeon to easily see pelvic organs which may be difficult to see when a patient has very large Uterine fibroid or multiple Uterine fibroid in difficult to reach areas.

Based upon the patient’s needs and condition, the physician and patient will determine the optimal procedure. The disadvantages of abdominal myomectomy are that due to the invasiveness of the procedure the surgery requires a larger incision, general anesthesia, and has risk factors associated with abdominal surgery such as blood loss, pain and infection, and longer recovery.

The hospital stay can last from 1-3 days and recovery time is generally 2-6 weeks.


Uterine Fibroid Effect on Pregnancy.

Most women will experience no effects from fibroid during their pregnancy. However, a 2010 review suggests 10 to 30% of women with Uterine fibroid develop complications during pregnancy.

Researchers note the most common complication of fibroid during pregnancy is pain. It’s seen most often in women with fibroid larger than 5 centimeters who are in their last two trimesters.

Uterine Fibroid may increase your risk for other complications during pregnancy and delivery.

These include:

Fetal growth restriction – Large fibroid may prevent a fetus from growing fully due to decreased room in the womb.

Placental abruption – This occurs when the placenta breaks away from the uterine wall because it’s blocked by a fibroid. This reduces vital oxygen and nutrients.

Preterm delivery – Pain from Uterine fibroid may lead to uterine contractions, which can result in an early delivery.

Cesarean delivery – WomensHealth estimates women with Uterine fibroid are six times more likely to need a cesarean delivery (C-section)than women who don’t have these growths.

Breech position – Because of the abnormal shape of the cavity, the baby may not be able to align for vaginal delivery.

Miscarriage – Research notes the chances for miscarriage are doubled in women with fibroid.


Effects of pregnancy on fibroid

The majority of fibroid don’t change in size during pregnancy, but some do. In fact, one-third of uterine fibroid may grow in the first trimester, according to a 2010 review. Fibroid growth is possibly influenced by estrogen, and estrogen levels rise during pregnancy. This may lead to growth.

Still, for other women, fibroid may actually shrink during pregnancy. In a 2010 study, researchers found that 79 percent of fibroid that were present before a pregnancy decreased in size after delivery.

Types of fibroid

The type of fibroid a woman develops depends on its location in or on the uterus.

Intramural fibroid – Intramural fibroid are the most common type of fibroid. These types appear within the muscular wall of the uterus. Intramural fibroid may grow larger and can stretch your womb.

Subserosal fibroid – This forms on the outside of your uterus, which is called the serosa. They may grow large enough to make your womb appear bigger on one side.

Pedunculated fibroid – Subserosal tumors can develop a stem, a slender base that supports the tumor. When they do, they’re known as pedunculated fibroid.

Submucosal fibroid – These types of tumors develop in the middle muscle layer, or myometrium, of your uterus. Submucosal tumors aren’t as common as the other types.


Causes of Uterine fibroid in women

It’s unclear why uterine fibroid develop, but several factors may influence their formation.


Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones produced by the ovaries. They cause the uterine lining to regenerate during each menstrual cycle and may stimulate the growth of Uterine fibroid.

Family history

Fibroids may run in the family. If your mother, sister, or grandmother has a history of this condition, you may develop it as well.


Pregnancy increases the production of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Uterine Fibroid may develop and grow rapidly while you’re pregnant.


Uterine Fibroid diet and lifestyle

Certain foods are ideal for Uterine fibroid patients, and it’s advisable they stick to it for a better health. As well adjusting of lifestyle will remedy the situation.


Uterine Fibroid – Foods all women must avoid


There are a number of changes you can make that might help reduce your risk for fibroid.

Follow a Mediterranean diet

Add plenty of fresh and cooked green vegetables, fresh fruit, legumes, and fish to your plate. A Mediterranean diet is one way to do this. Research shows that eating these foods regularly may help lower your risk for fibroid. On the other hand, eating beef, ham, lamb, and other red meat may raise your risk.


Cut back on alcohol

Drinking any type of alcohol may increase your risk for fibroid. This can happen because alcohol raises the level of hormones needed for fibroid to grow. Alcohol may also trigger inflammation.

One study found that women who drank one or more beers a day increased their risk by more than 50 percent. Avoid or limit alcohol to help reduce your risk.


Balance estrogen

Estrogen is a hormone important for healthy fertility in both women and men. However, too much estrogen can increase your risk for fibroid or make them worse.

Many treatments for fibroid work by lowering estrogen levels. Other ways to balance estrogen levels include:

Losing weight – Obesity and excess weight increase the risk for fibroid. Fat cells make more estrogen, so losing weight may help prevent or slow the growth of fibroid.

Avoiding hormone-disrupting chemicals – Natural and synthetic chemicals can throw off your endocrine balance, raising estrogen levels. These chemicals can leach into your body through skin and food. Avoid or limit coming into contact with chemicals found in:

Fertilizer-spesticidesplastics such as BPAnonstick coatings on cook ware fire retardants dyes paints some personal care products

Lower blood pressure – Research shows that a high number of women with severe fibroid also have high blood pressure.  More research is needed to find out if there’s a link.

Balancing blood pressure is vital for your overall health. Try these tips:

Avoid added salt. Flavor food with herbs and other spices instead.

Limit high-sodium processed and packaged foods.

Check your blood pressure daily with a home monitor.

Exercise regularly.Lose weight, especially around the waist.

Avoid or limit alcohol.

Increase potassium by eating a majority of plants at each meal.

Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.

If you have high blood pressure, take medication as prescribed.

See your doctor for regular checkups.

Get enough vitamin D – Vitamin D may help reduce your risk of  Uterine fibroid by almost 32 percent. Your body makes this “sunshine vitamin” naturally when your skin’s exposed to sunlight. If you have darker skin or live in cooler climates, you’re more likely to be deficient.

Supplements can help raise your levels, along with foods such as:

egg yolks, fortified milk, cheese, and dairy products fortified cereals fortified orange juice, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerelcod liver oil




A note about smoking, diet and fibroid symptoms.

Eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables is good for your general health. Consuming a variety of red, yellow, and orange foods will provide rich antioxidants. Dark greens are also nutrient dense and will provide healthful benefits. These nutrients may help protect you from disease, including some cancers.

However, a study found that beta carotene found in red, yellow and orange foods didn’t lower the risk for fibroid. In smokers, beta carotene may even increase risk. Further research is needed on why this might happen. In any case, smoking is harmful to your health and may increase your risk of fibroid as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter your keyword