What is a uterine fibroid?

The doctor tells me that I have a fibroid but he also says that fibroids do not affect my health. So, what is a fibroid?

Fibroids are also called leiomyomas or fibromas, which are very common. As the ultra-sound scans have become more popular, fibroids are found in many women without any symptoms at routine ultrasound examinations. You should not be too worried as most of the fibroids are benign. It is not cancerous and the chance of the fibroid turning into cancer in future is very low. Besides, fibroids usually will get smaller after menopause.

What are the symptoms of fibroids?

Most of the women with fibroids do not have any symptoms. If they have any, usually there will be heavy menstrual flow and a few of them may suffer from menstrual pain. If the size of the fibroid is very big, it may cause abdominal pain or distention. If the bladder is being pressed by the fibroid, you may experience frequent urges for urination. The effects of fibroids on fertility will depend on the size and the position of the fibroid.

Do I need to have a surgery?

As fibroids are benign and asymptomatic in most cases, generally, they don't need to be removed. You can take medications to decrease the menstrual flow or menstrual pain if necessary after medical consultation. The fibroid will gradually become smaller after menopause.

Under what conditions is an operation be required?

If medications cannot control the heavy menstrual flow, you have severe menstrual pain, the size of the fibroid is enlarging or it affects your fertility, then an operation may be required. Fibroids can recur even after excision. If a woman is certain that she does not want to be pregnant in the future, surgical removal of the whole uterus may be suggested by the gynaecologist so as to prevent relapse.