Uterine fibroids are the most common abnormal growths in women of reproductive age and one of the commonest reasons women undergo surgery.
The incidence of fibroids is quite high in Nigerian women with over 80% of those above 25 years of age having fibroids if only of the size of a seedling according to studies, with the vast majority of these fibroids being asymptomatic (not having any symptoms). While 60-65% of women in their 40s and 50s develop fibroids and far less of these women are ready to speak up about this health challenge due to fear, stigma and lack of awareness.
So, What in The World Are Uterine Fibroids?
Leiomyomas, more commonly known as ‘Fibroids’ are tumorous growths that appear around the uterus. Usually, they are not cancerous, regardless, they are a real public health concern and should not be taken lightly.
While Fibroids will not kill you, there is still so much to learn about this sensitive topic. So if you would like to know more about the causes, preventive measures and treatment options for this health issue, keep reading to find out.
What Are The Causes of Fibroids ?
The main cause of fibroids is still largely unknown, though 2 hormones: progesterone and oestrogen are responsible for the growth of the tumors.
However, there are other known factors that can contribute to the likelihood of one developing these tumors and they are as follows:
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Hereditary factors
- Consumption of red meat
- Getting your period at an early age
- Nutrient Deficiency
The matter of race is crucial as almost 90% of women of African descent tend to get diagnosed with these tumors even as young as 12-30 years old.
Symptoms of Fibroids
In many cases, women fail to experience symptoms. This is fully dependent on the level of severity of the condition. Women experience fibroids differently due to the size and number of the tumors.
However, for those that do experience symptoms, below are the most likely warning signs that indicate you may have Fibroids:
- Pain and discomfort around the pelvic region
- Heavy menstrual flow
- Frequent urination
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
In addition to the various physical symptoms, women tend to also develop psychological symptoms. These range from stress, anxiety, depression, body image issues and so much more.
Getting Rid Of Fibroids
Since many ladies fail to experience any harsh effect from Fibroids, there isn’t always a need to administer treatment. This is either because the condition is undiagnosed or simply not as much of a complication.
However, available treatment options come in different forms. Whether simple medication or high-end surgical operations to have the tumors removed, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to fibroids.
Just like with the causes, definite prevention measures for fibroids are currently unknown but there are several factors that can help keep one from developing such tumors .
Whether lifestyle choice or diet changes, your daily habits can contribute to either increasing or reducing your risk of fibroids. The following are possible ways of preventing this health issue:
- Avoid high sugar intake
- Consume high fibre diets
- Engage in regular exercise
- Include fresh fruits and green vegetables in your diet
- Include foods high in vitamin C, E and K in your diet
Uterine Fibroids & Pregnancy
Most women with fibroids can still undergo traditional pregnancies.
These uterine tumors only pose a threat when in critical positions of the uterus and of certain sizes. In some cases, placement of the tumor will interfere with the implantation of the embryo.
Overall, many ladies with these tumors will get pregnant and for those who experience issues, surgically removing them can do a great deal of good.
As you can already tell, the risks involved in fibroids are not restricted to those mentioned above. It is for this reason that we highly recommend ladies to take proper care of themselves and maintain excellent reproductive health.
We also urge you to NEVER keep health challenges to yourself and always be ready to go the extra mile to ensure you are of great health status.
It is required that in any case, self diagnosis is never an option and you must always seek medical assistance and be well informed on suitable treatment options from a skilled professional. Great thing we at Whispa have loads of those ! Click here to Chat with a doctor now.