Fibroids are benign tumors that originate from within the muscle wall of the uterus. They can grow to the size of a small melon, and can be found projecting into the cavity of the womb as well as outwards. It is believed that fibroid development is more active with higher levels of oestrogen, and some fibroids that have developed can in fact shrink with the onset of the menopause.
They are not normally painful, but may become uncomfortable if they have grown to a size that could put pressure on other organs such as the bladder. It is possible for them to start degenerating if they outgrow their blood supply. The most common symptoms of this are heavy and irregular bleeding.
Treatment can vary according to the symptoms. An ultra sound scan can detect the size and position of any fibroids. Drugs can be used to help shrink the fibroid, in severe cases the only option is to undergo a hysterectomy.
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