The uterus is also known as the womb and has a crucial function during pregnancy. A medical condition where there is an abnormal growth of the cells of the uterus could impact a woman’s life, and thus it requires medical attention. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that comprise muscle cells and fibrous tissues that grow in or around the uterus wall. Uterus health is of utmost importance for women. However, many women of childbearing age suffer from uterine problems, including fibroids. The fibroids may vary significantly in their size, shape, and also location.
Let us understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment for uterine fibroids.
Causes and Risk Factors of Uterine Fibroids
Although the exact causes of fibroids in women are not yet known, some research experts have identified the risk factors. For instance, there could be genetic factors that lead to the development of fibroids. A family medical history where a close relative had fibroids, increases the risk of fibroids in women. Also, fibroids are likely to swell during pregnancy when the levels of Estrogen levels are high. They shrink when Estrogen levels decrease during or after menopause.
Some studies show that taking excess alcohol, caffeine, and red meat also increases the risks of fibroids. Other risk factors include age, obesity, and deficiency of vitamin D and other essential nutrients.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Often, it is difficult to identify the symptoms for uterine fibroids because, in many cases, women do not show any signs of this medical condition. However, depending on the number of fibroids, size, and location, some women may show specific symptoms that include:
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Frequent urination
- Pain in legs or back
- Menstrual periods that last over a week
- Pregnancy-related problems including miscarriages or infertility
If the fibroids are large, that could result in weight gain and swelling in the lower abdomen.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
A doctor may recommend imaging tests, such as Ultrasound and MRI, to find out the size and number of fibroids, and recommend the right treatment. Usually, treatment for Uterine Fibroids is necessary when a woman experiences the symptoms that begin to affect her daily life. The treatment would include a combination of medication, including hormonal therapy, and lifestyle changes like exercises and diet. Surgery may also be necessary – such as a Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or Myomectomy (a surgical procedure to remove fibroids). Moreover, alternative treatments, including herbal remedies, also prove to be effective in managing the condition.
Is Prevention of Uterine Fibroids Possible?
Although there is no definite way to prevent fibroids, health experts recommend healthy lifestyle habits to lower the risks. That includes eating a well-balanced diet with green vegetables and other fibre-rich foods. Also, Green tea is rich in antioxidants and is known to have a tremendous effect in helping the reduction of cell damage by minimising the oxidative stress. Besides, there are many health benefits of exercise, and that will also help to reduce the chances of fibroids.
Choose Health Insurance to Manage Treatment Costs
Uterine problems may cause serious discomfort. Uterine Fibroids are not cancerous, but women should never ignore these symptoms and should not hesitate to seek medical attention at the right time. If we consider the expenses involved in treating such conditions, it is a sensible move to invest in a health insurance policy. There is a specific waiting period you have to complete before availing of the coverage for such medical procedures. Hence, you should read the policy documents carefully when opting for a policy.
Care by Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare Health Insurance) is a comprehensive health cover. It provides cashless hospitalisation, cover for pre and post-hospitalisation medical expenses, alternative treatment, annual health check-up, and many benefits that will keep you financially safe.
Disclaimer: The information given in this article is only for reference purposes. We recommend consulting a medical practitioner.