Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) swellings or growths/tumours in the muscle layer of the womb (uterus). They are surprisingly common; by the age of 50, between 70-80% of women will be found to have at least one fibroid.
Fibroids are easily seen on ultrasound, may be single or multiple and can range in size from a few millimetres to 30 centimetres or more in diameter. Fibroids can grow in any part of the uterus and their size and location are the biggest factors in deciding whether or not they need to be treated.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
For the majority of women, fibroids do not cause symptoms. Larger fibroids can cause heavy periods, pelvic pressure and fertility issues.
If the fibroid is in front of the uterus it can press on the bladder, causing frequent urination and difficulty emptying the bladder.
If the fibroid is on the back wall of the uterus, it can cause constipation and can press on the rectum, causing a pressure sensation, backache or leg pains.
How are fibroids treated?
If fibroids are found in the womb, they can be treated using hysteroscopy in the outpatient setting.
Some women may require further surgical treatment under general anaesthetic.
For further information on fibroids and their treatment, please discuss with your Merrion Fertility Clinic doctor.
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