Fibroids are abnormal growths on or in a woman’s uterus. It can grow into the wall, protrude into the uterus or project out from the outer surface of the uterus, as either a single outgrowth or a bunch. They are non-cancerous in almost all the cases. This benign growth is seen in women above the age of 35 years (and before menopause). The growth may be gradual or rapid. They vary in size from that of a seedling to that of a football. Some fibroids appear during pregnancy and then disappear afterwards.
The exact cause of fibroids is unknown; however research has indicated that it could be due to genetic changes, hormonal issues and or growth factors.
Many women do not complain of any symptoms associated with fibroids. Some have minor symptoms, while others may go through a more distressing time. The size, location and number of growths direct what you may or may not feel. Here is what you can expect:
Abnormal bleeding: heavy or excessive bleeding during menstrual period
Bleeding between periods
Severe cramps during periods
Sharp pelvic pain
Feeling of heaviness in the lower belly
Lower back pain and leg pains
Pain during sexual intercourse
Reproductive problems: Infertility, multiple miscarriages or early labour.
In most circumstances, fibroids do not require treatment. Your doctor may suggest ‘watchful waiting’ if you are having mild or no complaints which means simply keeping an eye on it through routine examinations and regular ultrasounds. If treatment is necessary, your doctor can recommend non-surgical or surgical options.
Non-surgical options include oral medications (birth control pills, anti-inflammatory) may be advised for pain and heavy bleeding. Hormonal preparations and anti-hormonal agents work by decreasing the size of the growth. Consequent disorders such as anaemia might also indicate a prescription of vitamins and iron supplements.
Certain situations warrant surgery. The types of surgery performed include:
Myomectomy: remove the fibroids while leaving the uterus in place.
Hysterectomy: remove the entire uterus including the fibroids.
The Kenya Laparoscopic Surgery offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
The Kenya Laparoscopic Surgery offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
Proposed Use for medication
Your doctor at Kenya Laparoscopic Surgery will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past.
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