FIBROIDS AND INFERTILITY
Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths in the uterus (womb). They are a common cause of infertility, miscarriage and pre-term labor.
Fibroids are very common. At least 1 in 4 women develop one or more fibroids in their lifetime. They usually develop in women aged 30-50 years and can sometimes run in families. This is thought to be due to the higher levels of estrogen that occur in heavier women.
Symptoms may include:
Miscarriage or infertility (depending on the size and position of the fibroid) Problems during pregnancy (early labour, risk of having a caesarean section)
Diagnosis Some fibroids can be felt on examining the abdomen if very large. An ultrasound scan is done to confirm the diagnosis
If your fibroids are not causing any symptoms then treatment is not usually needed. After the menopause, fibroids often shrink and symptoms tend to go or ease.
2. Treatment with medication
Medication can be used to improve symptoms or to shrink the fibroids. Normally fibroids more than 3cms in size cause symptoms and need treatment.
A) Medication to improve symptoms
The following medicines are used to treat heavy periods whatever the cause, including heavy periods caused by fibroids. They may not work so well if your fibroids are large.
Tranexamic acid- reduces bleeding during the period.
The contraceptive pill may help you to have lighter periods and can often help with period pain too.
B) Medication to shrink the fibroids
Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue, this is a hormone medicine that reduces the level of estrogen in your body. Fibroids shrink when the level of estrogen falls. This treatment is given for a maximum three to six months.
For patients with fibroids larger than 3cms Laparoscopic Myomectomy is the best way forward Hysterectomy is commonest treatment for large fibroids which cause symptoms.