If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number. In this article Dr Debs Basu explains the symptoms that can occur and what treatment is available.
Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths that can occur in or around the uterus (womb). They are known as uterine leiomyomas and can vary in size.
Many women have small fibroids without any symptoms, so it is hard to estimate how common they are. Fibroids tend to be more prevalent in women of Afro-Caribbean heritage.
Women who have fibroids may experience the following:
In severe cases, heavy bleeding can cause anaemia (low haemoglobin count), resulting in tiredness. There may also be issues with fertility or pregnancy.
As mentioned above, fibroids without any symptoms generally do not need any treatment.
If there are symptoms, the first step is to see your GP, who will examine you and request blood tests and an ultrasound of the womb.
Your GP will discuss the most appropriate treatment for you – these generally include:
In cases where medication is not working or the fibroid is large and causing complications, a referral to a gynaecologist is needed where alternative options, including surgery can be discussed.
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