Uterine Fibroids: Definition, Causes and Symptoms

Unlike what you may have heard, uterine fibroids are not malignant tumors. Instead, they are swellings or growths within the uterus that often occur during one’s motherhood years. There are no medical reports which suggest that fibroid tumors can develop into cancer.

The Statistics

According to a recent study, it was found that roughly 3 in every 4 women suffer from uterine fibroids. The study went further to reveal that African-American women are more susceptible to fibroid tumors compared to women from other races. As a matter of fact, it is believed that up to 80% of African-American women are more likely to suffer from fibroids tumors in their lives than any other race. Unfortunately, majorities of women suffering from uterine fibroid do not know about the condition since the illness does not display any symptom. More than often, doctors uncover fibroids parenthetically during standard pelvic tests or while doing prenatal ultrasound examination.

On the whole, uterine fibroids hardly need medication. There are medical treatments as well as surgical procedures that can either get rid of or shrink the fibroids. Surgical procedures are usually done when the pain and discomfort caused by fibroids are unbearable. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that you seek medical treatment should you experience the symptoms outlined below.

The Signs and Symptoms

Women who experience fibroids symptoms usually display the following signs and symptoms of fibroid tumors:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding (i.e. prolonged menstrual flow)
  • Severe pain the in the pelvic area
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Frequent urination
  • Seldom urination
  • Lower back pains
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Uterine fibroids usually start to disappear and die when they are denied nutrients. But as pointed out earlier, it is important that you see a doctor when you start to experience one or more of the symptoms outlined above.

When Should You See a Doctor?

It is best to see a physician when:

  • The sharp pain in the pelvic area does not cease.
  • You experience heavy menstrual flow accompanied by pain.
  • You experience discomfort or pain while having sexual intercourse.
  • You have issues moving your bowels.
  • You urinate frequently or find it hard to empty your bladder in spite of it being full.

What Causes Uterine Fibroids?

To date, doctors do not know what exactly trigger fibroid tumors. However, it is believed that the condition can be caused by:

  • Genetic anomalies: Most fibroids comprise of changes within the genes which are dissimilar from genes found in healthy uterine muscle tissues.
  • Hormonal changes: Increased production of estrogen and progesterone can also trigger fibroids.

Risk Factors

You are more likely to suffer from fibroids if:

  • You have a family member (e.g. mother or sister) who has suffered from the condition.
  • You are an African-American woman. Studies have shown that black women are more likely to suffer from fibroids compared to women from other races.

There are treatment options available for women suffering from uterine fibroids. Therefore, it is best consult a doctor rather than buy an over-the-counter medication.