Uterine Fibroids Treatment: And it’s more common than you think
Uterine fibroids treatment are slowly detaching from their exclusive association with older women. Although uterine fibroids are more prevalent in women over 35, reports of the incidence in younger women have seen an increase. Whether this signals a greater occurrence in young women or simply improved methods of diagnosis the fact remains that it is no longer a rarity. Young women are better off knowing what the symptoms of these potentially debilitating masses entail and most importantly, how they are treated.
Fibrous connective tissues and muscle cells that are clustered together make up a fibroid and often occur in multiple parts of the uterus, either on the lining or on the outside. They range in size and severity, with some fibroids visible from a simple pelvic exam and others requiring an ultrasound scan. Although symptom-free Uterine fibroids treatment exist, symptomatic fibroids are accompanied by a range of disruptive symptoms. Women who experience the wrath of their fibroids are no stranger to the prolonged menstrual periods, excessive bleeding, pain during intercourse, pelvic pain and even an estranged desire to eat clay. Though fibroids are benign, i.e. non-cancerous, they can cause a great deal of interference to everyday life and treatment options need to be considered to tackle them head-on. The common misconception that fibroids affect older women only is being challenged with ob-gyn Dr Daryl Daley emphasizing the reality that uterine fibroids treatment can affect any woman in the reproductive age group. “(Fibroid) growth is dependent on the production of estrogen and progesterone – hormones which maintain and regulate the female reproductive system,” says Daley.
Traditionally, surgical procedures were the default treatment option for fibroid sufferers. Fibroid concerns are one of the most common reasons for a hysterectomy which involves the partial or complete removal of the womb. A hysterectomy is, for many, a path best avoided. Women who are still looking to bear children are, naturally, the most opposed to it while other women are just not ready to part ways with their uterus. The finality of a hysterectomy can be daunting, and doctors are considering alternatives where possible. A myomectomy is another surgical method, albeit less extreme than a hysterectomy. This procedure removes just the fibroid(s) and leaves the uterus intact. It does, however, carry the risk of reoccurrence. Also, both a hysterectomy and a myomectomy bear the risks resulting from any surgical procedure including infection and pain as well as the long recovery period which puts many people off any kind of procedure at all.
Fortunately, minimally invasive methods do exist. Birth control pills have been used as a fibroid management method for a while now and many women have reported success at a gradual pace. There are also micro-invasive methods such as Uterine
Fibroid Embolization which is a continually evolving technique that effectively targets fibroids with very little chance of re occurrence. “The benefit of offering younger patients Uterine Fibroid Embolization means that they are likely to remain fibroid-free for far longer than if they would have undergone mastectomy. Young mastectomy patients have an extraordinary high fibroid recurrence rate and considering first-line UFE, might simply give them a better chance to avoid a second procedure in years to come” says Dr Andrew Lawson of Fibroid Care, one of the primary providers of UFE in Southern Africa.
Uterine fibroids can join the already extensive list of issues facing younger women of our time. While we battle out the misogyny, unequal pay and infuriating stereotypes spare a thought for your health and are proactive in the fight against female hunting fibroids.