Zim Digital Sunday Express
June 18, 2021

The Health Column with Mandy Nyama: Fabroids, and what to do about them

Genetic factors may also affect the development of fibroids. Red meat, alcohol, and caffeine

 

 

By Mandy Nyama

This, the Month of March: Women’s Month, as a way of honouring them for their Courage and Contribution to the Healthcare Sector, on this week’s health Column I am going to talk about FIBROIDS. Most Women develop Fibroids from the age of 30, and between 20% to 70% of women have Fibroids according to the Office Of Women’s Health.

What are Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that grow in, on, or within the walls of the womb.
Uterine fibroids are growths in or on the walls of the uterus. They consist of smooth muscle cells. When a fibroid is cancerous, it is called a leiomyosarcoma

Types:
Subserosal fibroids:
These are the most common type. They grow on the outside of the uterus.

Intramural fibroids:
These grow inside the muscular wall of the uterus.

Submucosal fibroids:
These grow into the open space inside the uterus.

Symptoms
Heavy Menstrual periods, painful periods, Lower backache, discomfort in the lower abdomen, pain during sex, fertility problems associated with fibroids.

Causes
It remains unclear exactly what causes fibroids. Their development may be linked with the person’s estrogen levels.
During a person’s reproductive years, estrogen and progesterone levels are higher. When estrogen levels are high, especially during pregnancy, fibroids tend to swell.

Shrinkage of fibroids can occur after menopause or when taking medications, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists.

Genetic factors may also affect the development of fibroids. Red meat, alcohol, and caffeine are associated with an increased risk of fibroids. Overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of fibroids.

Childbearing is associated with a lower risk of developing fibroids.

Diagnosis
The following diagnostic tests can help a doctor detect fibroids and rule out other conditions:

Ultrasound scans:
Creating ultrasound images by scanning over the abdomen or by inserting a small ultrasound probe into the vagina.

MRI scans:
Can determine the size and number of fibroids.

Hysteroscopy:
Use of small device with a camera attached to the end to examine the inside of the uterus.

Laparoscopy:
They will insert a small, lighted tube into a small incision in the abdomen to examine the outside of the uterus and its surrounding structures.




Treatment
GnRH agonists
A drug called a GnRH agonist causes the body to produce less estrogen and progesterone. This shrinks fibroids.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs such as ibuprofen, can reduce fibroid pain.
Hormonal birth control
Low dose hormonal birth control doesn’t make fibroids grow.

Surgery
Surgery may be the best treatment option for Severe Fibroids

Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy is the partial or total removal of the uterus.

Myomectomy
This is the removal of fibroids from the muscular wall of the uterus.

Endometrial ablation
Removing the uterine lining may help if fibroids are near the inner surface of the uterus. Uterine fibroid embolization. Cutting off the blood supply to the area shrinks the fibroid.

Lifestyle changes
Regular exercise and eating a healthful diet may help moderate estrogen levels, which may help reduce fibroids.

Complications
Consistently heavy periods may lead to anemia. Large fibroids can lead to swelling and discomfort in the lower abdomen or cause constipation. Some people might develop UTI as a result of fibroids. Pregnancy problems, Preterm birth, labor and miscarriage can be experienced as estrogen levels rise significantly during pregnancy.

Conclusion:
A report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that Black women are three times more likely to develop fibroids than white women. Small size Fibroids are 1cm to 5cm long, medium are 5cm to 10cm long and larger ones are 10cm plus long.

Despite these health challenges women are clothed in strength, dignity and they laugh without fear.

 

Mandy Nyama is a Healthcare Professional and is writing for The Mail Online. Feedback, comments: Contact: mandynyama@gmail.com. For your health concerns. The Mail Online. News with a Difference. Contact her on (27) 65 318 8206.

 

 

 

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