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What are fibroids? Here's what women need to know – National

You can think of a fibroid as a hard ball of muscles.

Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, obstetrician gynecologist at Women & # 39; s College Hospital in Toronto, told Global News that fibroids are common and that over 50% of women own them.

"It is very unusual for someone under the age of 30, for example, to have many or large fibroids," he explained. "With menopause, or 50 to 70 years, sometimes up to 80 percent of people could have fibroids at that time."

Fibroids – also called leiomyomas or myomas – are types of growth that can be found in or on a woman's uterus. They can also grow over time.

"It usually starts only from a type of smooth muscle cell that continues to proliferate," said Kirkham.

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A fibroid is different from cysts or polyps, Kirkham added, but there is often confusion among the three. A cyst is a soft balloon of liquid or blood.

"(Cysts) do not grow in or on the uterus," Kirkham explained. "The cysts usually grow on an ovary or sometimes on our skin."

A polyp, meanwhile, is a soft and fleshy tissue that grows inside the uterus.

But fibroids are not necessarily dangerous: over 99% is benign. Sometimes, women may have them without symptoms; other times, they may need to be removed.

"It may not be clinically significant in the sense that it may not have an impact on their lives," he said.

There is no single cause of fibroids, but Kirkham added that they have been linked to genetics, race (black women are more likely to have fibroids), hormones, environmental factors and other causes.

"There is nothing you can do to prevent it."

Where do they grow up?

There are three main types of uterine fibroids.

Subserosal fibromas are found outside your uterus. The fibroids found inside the wall of the uterus are called intramural fibroids.

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And those spheres of muscle that grow in the cavity of the uterus are called submucosal fibroids.

Credit: Getty Images

"The symptoms depend on where the fibroids are located," he continued. "For example, if you have a small muscle ball from a centimeter or two centimeters in the wall, this causes no problem. "

Subserosal fibroids can become quite large (up to 10-15 cm) which can cause pressure on the bladder.

"The same goes for the intramural and the submucosal," Kirkham explained. "Anything in the big wall would cause pressure".

Your period can also be affected

One of the biggest symptoms of fibroids is a heavy period for women in their 40s and women who are pre-menopausal.

"Fibroids outside the uterus do not affect a period, but those in the lining can cause period problems."

These fibroids "prevent contractions", which means that it becomes difficult for your period to stop flowing. Submucosal fibroids can also modify your bleeding patterns.

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A heavy period, he added, uses more than 3-5 pads or pads a day, losing his clothes or changing the pad or pad several times during the night.

"They could be overflowing or their flow could go on for a week or even months, "said Kirkham.

Treatment options

Fibroids become a problem only if they are symptomatic (and this is often the case for women over the age of 40), but for others, treatment is not required.

Kirkham said the treatment is often dealing with severe bleeding or any kind of cramping. This can be done with over-the-counter medicine. It is also now a drug that can reduce the size of a fibroid.

"Because some people have been bleeding for months and are becoming rather anemic (low blood and iron) so that they can become anemic, this (drug) can help improve their anemia."

Talk to your doctor to find out which drug is right for you.

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Kirkham said doctors often start with oral medication or an injection, but others may need surgery.

"This can be done either with laparoscopy which is minimally invasive with a telescope through the navel," he explained. "O can be made from an open incision in the abdomen to shell out all the fibroids from the uterus".

He added that some people may never need surgery, but it all comes down to the size of the fibroid.

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Submucosal fibroids can sometimes exit the uterus and penetrate the vagina. This intervention is often more urgent. added endometrial ablation "Involves the insertion of a special tool in your uterus to destroy the uterine lining using heat, electric current or hot water."

There are also treatments in which the fibroids are reduced with a laser or frozen.

"We also have a hysterectomy that removes the entire uterus with fibroids together."

He added that they shrink themselves during menopause.

If you are ever interested or try any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away, he added. The most important thing women can do is to be clear about what fibroids are and where they live.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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