Fibroids, also interchangeably referred to as uterine fibroids, fibromas, myomas, and leiomyomas in Singapore are a form of growth found on the wall of the uterus. Fibroids are usually non-cancerous growths occurring among pre- or perimenopausal women. The prevalence of fibroids is far more common than most perceive them to be, with an estimation of up to 60-80% of women having them.
The size and number of fibroids vary from one patient to another. Fibroids may manifest as the size of a seed, or as large as a fruit. They may also form as a singular tumour, or many, with one case study reporting 236 fibroids removed in a single operation.
The growth of fibroids is arguably one of the more mysterious occurrences in a woman’s body.
Thus far, the fibroids growth patterns that have been identified are:
Additionally, fibroids are classified based on the location of growth.
Below are the types of fibroids and the regions of growth in the uterus:
The exact cause of fibroids remains unknown.
Based on the behavioural patterns of fibroids growth some potential causes of fibroids include:
Most women (up to 50%) tend to be asymptomatic, however, in the event symptoms are present, fibroids may present issues such as:
If you notice any of the symptoms stated above, make an appointment today to get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
Fibroids are not usually painful as it is rare that one experiences any symptoms at all. Where pain is present, patients tend to get diagnosed promptly after seeking medical intervention.
Whilst the cause remains ambiguous, there are certain patterns to the occurrence of fibroids, these include:
Fibroids are easily identifiable, some tests that may be administered to confirm a diagnosis include:
Fibroids can be treated in the following ways:
Fibroids are thought not to cause cancer or become cancerous. Fibroids are almost always benign growths. However, a fibroid-like cancer growth (leiomyosarcoma) in the uterus can be confused with fibroids because they look similar on ultrasound scans.
Current evidence suggests that fibroids may grow anywhere from 18-120% in size. They may also shrink during menopause and the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Yes, fibroids do tend to recur after removal. The only way to stop fibroids from growing back is a hysterectomy (uterus removal) which isn’t a feasible option for many, particularly younger patients. Treatments such as uterine artery embolisation would be the next best prevention measure to take as it reduces the rate of recurrence.
Fibroids account for 2-3% of infertility. While the likelihood is low, it is possible nevertheless. Fibroids may cause disruption in implantation or by blocking the fallopian tubes.
Treating fibroids would either imply removing or shrinking them. Whilst one will not be able to remove fibroids on your own, one can attempt to reduce symptoms. This may involve dietary changes such as reducing red meat and increasing fibre consumption. Lifestyle changes such as avoiding or limiting alcohol and quitting smoking could also improve your condition.