Dr. Noah O. Olaomo
Fibroid is an abnormal growth (mass) arising from the muscle of the womb (uterus). It is one of the most common disorders affecting women globally. It is one the commonest reasons why women visit the gynaecologist’s clinic. It affects women of all race but it appears to afflict the black race more.
PREDISPOSING FACTORS FOR FIBROID.
•Age: The older a woman becomes, the higher the risk of having a fibroid. Age above 30years is particularly significant but I have also managed a girl of 15years with fibroid.
• Race: Fibroid is commoner among blacks than it is among other races.But all races are affected.
• Not having been pregnant before.
CLINICAL SYMPTOMS OF FIBROID.
Most women with fibroid has no symptom. The presence and type of symptom are determined by size, location and number of fibroids.
However, when there are symptoms, the following are the common symptoms;
•Abnormal menstrual bleeding: When this symptom is present, the menstrual bleeding will increase both in duration and quantity. There may also be presence of clots. A normal menses lasts between 1-7 days and significant clots should not normally be present.
•Intermenstrual bleeding: Fibroid can also make women bleed in between their menses. This creates confusion for a lot of affected women regarding their menses.
• Menstrual pain: Fibroids can cause menstrual pain in those not previously having menstrual pain and worsen it in those already suffering from menstrual pain. Fibroid also causes abdominal pain.
•Abdominal swelling: The womb is an organ in the pelvis. It should not normally be touchable through the abdomen. However, in the presence of fibroids, it may become large enough to form a mass that is visible and touchable through the abdomen. Some become so big that they even touch the chest.
•Anaemia (shortage of blood): Excessive menstrual and intermenstrual bleeding can lead to shortage of blood that can put the life of the affected woman in danger.
•Pressure effects: A womb that has become enlarged from multiple fibroids will ultimately start to compress surrounding organs resulting in different complaints;
– Bladder: The bladder is directly in front of the womb. Some fibroid nodules may compress the bladder resulting in difficulty in urination and urinary retention.
– Rectum: The rectum is behind the womb. Any fibroid nodule in the back of the womb can compress the rectum resulting in constipation.
– Ureters: These are two pipes, left and right that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. An enlarged womb can compress one or both ureters leading to backflow of urine to the kidneys with potential damaging effects on the kidneys.
•Infertility: Fibroid does not routinely cause infertility but it may contribute to infertility by;
•Preventing regular and adequate sexual intercourse because of prolonged menstrual bleeding, severe menstrual pain and frequent abdominal pain.
•Blocking the entry points of the fallopian tubes into the uterus.
•Preventing implantation of the embryo
•Causing frequent miscarriages.
TYPES OF FIBROIDS
Types are classified according to their locations;
•Outside the uterus and hanging on a stalk ( penduculated)
• Outside the uterus but just under the outer cover of the womb (subserosal)
• Inside the muscle of the womb (intramural)
• Inside the womb (submucosal): This causes a lot of bleeding.
• On the cervix (cervical)
• Protruding down from inside the cervix to the vagina ( fibroid polyp)
Please watch out for more discussions on Fibroid
Dr Olaomo Noah Oluwafemi is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist with a love for writing. His desire is to enhance people’s lifestyle and effect positive change in their health through his writings