Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumours of the female reproductive system. These tumours consist of smooth muscle cells and connective tissue, which develops in the uterus and multiplies due to the influence of oestrogen. In most cases they are benign (non-cancerous).
Symptoms of fibroids
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
- Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
- Pelvic pain (caused by the tumour pressing on pelvic organs)
- Frequent urination
- Low back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- A firm mass, often located near the middle of the pelvis, which can be felt by the physician
Diagnosis of fibroids
These tumours can be found through routine pelvic examination and diagnosis can usually be confirmed by ultrasound.
Most of these tumours stop growing or shrink over time and therefore management depends on the symptoms, location and size, as well as the patients desire to conceive. However, these tumours usually don’t interfere with getting pregnant, it is possible that it — especially if submucosal — could cause infertility or pregnancy loss. These tumours may also raise the risk of certain pregnancy complications, such as:
- placental abruption
- fetal growth restriction
- preterm delivery
*These tumours can be managed by means of gynaecological endoscopic surgery. It has been established through research, that gynaecological endoscopic surgery is the best treatment option for symptomatic women with uterine fibroids, who wish to maintain their fertility.