Uterine fibroids, also known as myoma, is a condition where lumps grow in the uterus due to the growth of abnormal uterine cells. Myoma has a strong relationship with the hormone estrogen, so you need to be careful, especially in women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Fibroid lumps can appear in various sizes, ranging from not palpable to those that are quite large and can put pressure on the uterus so that they can be palpated. However, this type of tumor is not associated with the risk of cancer and rarely develops into cancer.
Causes of Uterine Fibroids
After understanding the concept of uterine fibroids, here are the factors that can trigger this condition that you need to recognize. By understanding these causes, you can be more aware of the potential for uterine fibroids to appear.
One of the triggers for uterine fibroids is the role of hormones. Estrogen and progesterone, as hormones that influence the thickening of the uterine lining each menstrual cycle, can be the main contributors. Fibroids tend to get smaller after a woman enters the menopause phase, which is due to a decrease in hormone production during that period.
2. Genetic Factors
Apart from hormones, genetic factors also play a role in the possibility of uterine fibroids. According to information from Web MD, there are genetic differences between fibroids and normal cells in the uterus.
3. Extracellular Matrix (ECM)
Extracellular matrix (ECM) is a substance that facilitates adhesion between cells, similar to mortar that holds bricks together. ECM levels tend to increase in fibroids, causing them to become fibrous. ECM also includes growth factors that can cause biological changes in the cells themselves.
4. Growth Factors
Some substances in the body that play a role in tissue maintenance, such as insulin, have an impact on fibroid growth. The insulin hormone itself is responsible for converting glucose into energy and distributing it throughout the body.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Most women do not show signs of uterine fibroids, as symptoms vary depending on the number, dimensions and location of the fibroids. Some common symptoms are:
- Menstrual periods that last a long time.
- Anemia, which includes a low red blood cell count.
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles.
- Dyspareunia, or pain during intercourse.
- Increased frequency of urination, caused by tumor pressure on the bladder.
- Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or lower back.
Uterine Fibroid Treatment
How to deal with uterine fibroids can vary, depending on the size, number, location, and symptoms that appear from uterine fibroids.
If your fibroids are small and don't cause symptoms, there may be no need for treatment. Routine monitoring and pelvic examinations as well as ultrasound can be carried out periodically. However, if you experience anemia or excessive bleeding, and experience pain in the urinary tract, consult a health professional immediately.
The treatment required also depends on future fertility goals. If you plan to have children, there are several treatment options to consider, such as:
1. Drug Use
- Taking iron supplements can help treat anemia caused by excessive bleeding.
- The use of pain relievers available in pharmacies can help reduce the discomfort and pain caused by uterine fibroids.
- Oral therapies such as Elagolix can reduce heavy bleeding in premenopausal women with uterine fibroids. It is important to consult a doctor before using this medication.
- Hormonal contraception (birth control) may be used to manage fibroid symptoms, especially if you experience heavy bleeding during your period.
2. Operational Action
- The choice of surgery to treat uterine fibroids depends on the size, location, and number of fibroids.
- Myomectomy, such as hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, or laparotomy, are some methods of removing fibroids without damaging the uterus. This option needs to be considered carefully in conjunction with the treating physician.
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization involves placing a small catheter in the uterine blood vessels to block blood flow to the fibroid, causing the fibroid to shrink and symptoms to subside.
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) uses heat energy to target fibroid masses with minimal incisions, helping to reduce their size.
It is important to seek medical advice and choose a treatment method appropriate to your condition and health goals. Carry out regular checks to ensure the health of your vital organs and achieve your dream of having a baby.