MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT FIBRIODSReading Time: 3 minutes
What Are Fibroids?
Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in the uterus. They are the most common benign tumors of the female reproductive tract. They develop from the muscle layer of the uterus. They are not cancerous and will not spread to involve other parts of the body as is the custom of malignant tumors.
Sometimes these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. They are not known to cause death, at least not directly, however, their symptoms may result in significant morbidity and poor quality of life. They vary in numbers and sizes, an individual may have multiple or single, large or small sized fibroids.
It is fairly common among of African descent and in Nigeria, it is estimated to affect up to 80% of women above the age of 25. They occur after menarche (first period) and majority will regress at menopause.
Myths about Uterine Fibroid
Myth #1: Fibroids Are Cancerous
Fibroids are benign tumors and NOT cancerous. Their presence does not increase a woman’s risk of uterine cancer.
Myth #2: If You Have Fibroids, You Can’t Get Pregnant Or Stay Pregnant.
Those blocking the Fallopian tubes or growing into the cavity of the uterus, distorting it to the point that the fetus is unable to implant into the uterus, can prevent a woman with fibroids from getting pregnant.
Most women with uterine fibroids have uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries.
Myth #3: Fibroids Can Only Be Treated With Surgery
Not all fibroids will require treatment. Small sized fibroids with no symptoms or those found in women nearing menopause will not require any treatment.
If you have symptoms, medications are the initial line of therapy to be explored, your doctor may prescribe certain medications to relieve them. Medications aid in relieving symptoms, they do not make the fibroids go away completely.
The usual indications for treatment include excessive menstrual bleeding and pain, infertility, rapidly growing fibroid e.t.c. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate treatment suitable for you. Surgery is indicated for large fibroids that causing severe symptoms.
Myth #4: All Fibroids Are Symptomatic
Most women with fibroids will not experience symptoms. Fibroids can range from the size of a pea to a watermelon. Large sized fibroids are are likely to cause symptoms, while small fibroids hardly cause symptoms.
These symptoms may include vaginal bleeding between menses, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, abdominal cramps. Abdominal swelling and early satiety.
Myth #5: Inserting Herbs Into The Vagina Can ‘Melt’ Fibroids
Inserting local herbs into the vagina for treatment of any condition of the uterus is extremely dangerous. Do not patronize non medical professionals and people that prescribe local herb insertion into the vagina.
Inserting local herbs can cause dangerous complications like gynatresia (blockage of the vagina or uterus), vesico-vagina fistula (opening of the bladder into the vagina) and toxic shock syndrome. It is advisable to visit your doctor for the best method for the treatment of fibroid.
Myth #6. Fibroids Do Not Regress And Will Grow For A Lifetime
Fibroids respond to stimulation from estrogen, as such will regress when a woman reaches menopause. Pregnant women with fibroid may experience rapid growth of the mass due to the high estrogen levels in pregnancy.
With proper diet, exercise, medications and change in lifestyle fibroid can regress in size and may even disappear.