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Fibroids are muscular tumours that grow in the wall of the uterus.  Fibroids are almost always non-cancerous. Fibroids can be a single growth, or there can be many of them in the uterus.

What are Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths or lumps of muscle tissue that form within the walls of the uterus.  Fibroids can vary in size ranging from the size of a pea to the size of a rockmelon or larger.

It is unclear why fibroids develop, but it is recognised that the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone play a significant role in their growth.

Fibroids are usually found during a gynaecological examination, pelvic ultrasound or during surgery for other conditions.  Fibroids can also be found during a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery).

Symptoms of Fibroids

The majority of women won’t even know they have fibroids because they may not cause symptoms.

For others, symptoms will depend on the size, number and location of the fibroids.  Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Heavy or prolonged periods
  • Iron deficiency (anaemia)
  • Frequent urination
  • A pressure sensation on the bladder, bowel or back
  • Lower back pain
  • A lump or swelling in the abdomen
  • Period pain
  • Painful sex

Sometimes fibroids cause problems in pregnancy, or they interfere with labour and delivery. The number and position of the fibroids will determine if there is a problem. 

Fibroid Treatment

Resection via the hysteroscope would be performed under general anaesthesia to cut out a fibroid that is partially or entirely inside the cavity of the uterus, and partially in the wall of the uterus.  These are called ‘submucosal’ fibroids and they usually cause heavy periods.

A Myomectomy would be performed using laparoscopic surgery to completely remove a fibroid.

A hysterectomy is the only procedure that will permanently prevent fibroids from growing or recurring.  This would be an option for multiple fibroids causing significant symptoms.  This treatment would only be suitable for women who no longer want to have children.

Ask your GP for a referral to Dr Michael Flynn - print this Referral Request and hand it to your GP.

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