Fibroids are the smooth muscle tumours of the uterus. Fibroids are also known as leiomyoma, myoma or fibromyoma. They are the most common non-cancerous tumours of the uterus.
It is estimated that minimum 20% of the women in their thirties have got fibroids in their uterus. Most of them are asymptomatic though. Almost 3% of the females visiting a gynaecologist are diagnosed with a fibroid in their uterus.
The women having fibroids are more prone to develop uterine cancer in their lives. Having fibroids may cause symptoms like heavy and painful menses, increased frequency of urination. They also may cause pain while having sex, and lower back pain. In some occasions, having fibroids may cause a woman unable to conceive.
The exact cause of the occurrence of the fibroids is not known. But the years of research and clinical experience have put forward some of the plausible risk factors for fibroids. These are as follows:
It is found that the risk of fibroids has a genetic predisposition i.e. it runs in the families. If your mother or sister or maternal grandmother had fibroids in their lifetimes, you are likely to suffer from it too.
According to the research and clinical experience, the occurrence of fibroids is more in coloured races (black women). They are more likely to have fibroids than the women of other racial group. They also tend to have fibroids at an earlier age. The size of the fibroids is also comparatively larger in this population.
3. Reproductive age group:
The fibroids commonly occur in the females who are in their reproductive age that is from 25 to 45 years of age. The occurrence of the fibroids is uncommon once the menopause is achieved. The prevalence of fibroids is highest in the age group of 35-45 years.
4. Women having early onset menstrual cycle:
Women who have had their first menstrual cycle at a very early age are at increased risk to form fibroids in their uterus. As there is early exposure to the hormones which may be the underlying cause for this.
A woman who has never conceived in her lifetime is always at an increased risk to develop fibroid than a woman who have had given birth.
6. High dose contraceptive pill users:
Some of the contraceptives contain high doses of hormones in it. The women taking these contraceptives have found to be developing fibroids in their uterus. The high levels of the hormones contribute to the abnormal growth of the uterine smooth muscle cells which leads to formation of fibroids.
7. High oestrogen levels:
The fibroids do not occur in girls who have not menstruated yet. The size of the existing fibroids shrinks after the menopause (complete cessation of menstrual cycle). They commonly occur in the reproductive age group when the action of oestrogen is at the maximum level. This points out to the underlying cause of the fibroids as the unopposed action of oestrogen on the uterine cells.
Obesity is also one of most common risk factor for fibroids. In obese females, menstrual irregularities are also common. Obese women tend to also be sedentary. These all factors give rise to development of fibroids.
9. Alcohol intake:
Alcohol is one of the important risk factors for fibroids. It has been come up that females having a high intake of alcohol might develop fibroids in their uterus.
A study research states that females who tend to have a high content of red meat in their diet are more prone to develop fibroids in their reproductive age group. Also women taking a very low fibre intake in their diet also have higher chances of facing the problem of symptomatic fibroids in their uterus.
Fibroids if symptomatic should be treated as soon as detected. For Fibroid treatment Hyderabad, contact us at ‘Vascular interventions’ by Dr.AbhilashSandhyala.