Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus [womb].

The growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and vary in size. They're sometimes known as uterine myomas or leiomyomas.

Many women are unaware they have fibroids because they don't have any symptoms.  One in three women will experience symptoms.

Symptoms

  • Menorrhagia [heavy periods]
  • Dysmenorrhoea [painful periods]
  • Pelvic pain
  • Dyspareunia [pain or discomfort during sex]
  • Frequency of micturition [frequent need to urinate]
  • Bowel habit disturbances
  • Infertility

 

Types of fibroids

There are many types of fibroids as depicted in the pictures:

Investigations

Physical examination may review the size of fibroids. 

Radiological tests such as pelvic ultrasound scan or MRI scan will locate the exact locations of the fibroids or even a laparoscopy to aid treatment planning.  

Hysteroscopy allows diagnosis and treatment of the fibroids within the uterus and may enable removal of fibroid at the same procedure – please refer to one stop clinic.

Treatments

Treatment aims to provide symptomatic relief.  Available treatments include medications, surgical, radiological approach or a combination of them.  Surgical treatments include laparoscopic or open myomectomy or laparoscopic or open hysterectomy.   Medical treatments may arrest the growth of the fibroids but when the medical treatment is discontinued the fibroid may continue to grow.