Heavy periods, pain and bloating, could be an indication of fibroids
June 12, 2019
At least 1 in 4 women develops fibroids in her lifetime. A fibroid is like an overgrowth of smooth muscle cells in the wall of the womb. Many women with fibroids are not aware of them. Symptoms only occur in about 1 in 3 women with fibroids. Symptoms include heavy or painful periods, bloating or swelling, bladder or bowel problems, pelvic pain, pain during sexual intercourse, and miscarriage or infertility.
What should you do if you are worried you may have fibroids?
Consult your doctor and they will usually arrange an ultrasound scan. If you wish they can refer you to a gynaecologist.
What are the treatment options for fibroids?
There are numerous treatments available for fibroids depending on what is right for you. If your fibroids are not causing any symptoms then treatment is not usually needed. If you have heavy periods many of the standard treatments for heavy periods can be used for women with fibroids. Even the mirena intrauterine device and endometrial ablation may be suitable if the uterine cavity is not too distorted by the fibroids. Fibroids can be shrunk using medicines or alternatively by fibroid embolisation.
Myomectomy (removal of fibroids alone) is performed especially in women who may wish to have children in the future. This operation can be done through an incision (cut) in the abdomen, via keyhole surgery (laparoscopically) or through the vagina (hysteroscopically). Hysterectomy inovolves the removal of the womb along with the fibroids. You can opt to conserve your ovaries so you do not need HRT. Although this was the most common treatment for fibroids in the past, less invasive techniques have overtaken as the preferred treatments of choice.
Professor Phillips is the clinical lead for gynaecology at Hampshire Hospitals and offers a fully comprehensive gynaecology service, including the treatment of fibroids. For more information or to book an appointment with Professor Phillips please call 01256 315010