At the London Medical and Aesthetic clinic our gynaeocologist will be able to asses and discuss with you the issue of Fibroids.
Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that grow in or around the womb (uterus). The growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and can vary in size. Fibroids are sometimes known as uterine myomas or fibromyomas.
Fibroids are growths enclosed in capsules in the wall of your womb. They don’t spread to other parts of your body, except in very rare circumstances.
Fibroids are very common – around one in two women will be affected at some point in their lives. However, most don’t ever get any symptoms.
You may have only one fibroid or you may have many fibroids of different sizes. Fibroids can range from being very small to around the size of a basketball.
Fibroids are named according to where they are found in your womb. Fibroids can grow anywhere in the womb. The five main types of fibroids are described below.
Subserous fibroids grow from the outside wall of your womb into your pelvic cavity. They can become very large.
Submucosal fibroids grow from the inner wall of your womb into the space inside your womb.
Pedunculated fibroids grow from the outside of your womb. These fibroids are almost free of the wall of your womb and are only attached by a narrow stalk.
Many women are unaware that they have fibroids as they do not have any symptoms. This often means that fibroids are diagnosed by chance during a routine gynaecological examination, test or scan. If they are suspected, your GP will recommend more tests, such as an ultrasound scan, to confirm fibroids.
The exact cause of fibroids is unknown. However, fibroids are linked to the female hormone, oestrogen. Oestrogen is the female reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries (the female reproductive organs). Fibroids usually develop during a woman’s reproductive years (from approximately 16 to 50 years of age).
Fibroids tend to increase in size when oestrogen levels are at their highest, such as during pregnancy. They are also known to shrink when oestrogen levels are low, such as after the menopause (when a woman’s monthly periods stop at around 50 years of age).
In many cases, fibroids do not cause symptoms and treatment is not required. Over time, fibroids will often shrink and disappear without any treatment.
However, around 1 in 3 women experience symptoms from fibroids, such as pain or heavy bleeding. In such cases, medication may be prescribed. If this doesn’t work, other techniques, including surgery, may be recommended.
Most women with fibroids can have a normal pregnancy and delivery; however, there can be some complications. For example, submucosal fibroids can affect your womb, which can make it more difficult for you to become pregnant.
Fibroids can sometimes cause problems such as miscarriage, premature labour and bleeding, but this is rare. If you’re pregnant and have fibroids, your GP may refer you to an obstetrician (a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and childbirth) for specialist care.
It’s rare for fibroids to become cancerous, though if one suddenly grows or becomes painful this may be more concerning, especially if this happens after you have had the menopaus
Fibroids are common, with around 40% of women developing them at some stage in their life. They most often occur in women who are from 30 to 50 years old.
Fibroids are thought to develop more frequently (in around 55%) of women who are of African Caribbean origin. It is also thought that they occur more often in heavier women as a result of higher oestrogen levels.