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Many women are unaware that they have fibroids because they don’t have any symptoms.Fibroids are common, with around 1 in 3 women developing them at some point in their life. They most often occur and become symptomatic in women aged 30 to 50. In some cases, further complications caused by fibroids can affect pregnancy or cause infertility. They usually become asymptomatic after the menopause.1

What are the symptoms of fibroids?

Symptoms can include:

  • Heavy and/or painful periods
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lower back pain
  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Constipation
  • Pain or discomfort during sex1

Don’t neglect your own well being. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms make time to consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

What happens next?

As around only one third of women experience symptoms, fibroids are often diagnosed by chance during a routine gynaecological examination, test or scan.

However diagnosis may involve:

  • Pelvic examination
  • Ultrasound scan (either abdominal or transvaginal)
  • Hysteroscopy, when a small telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted into the womb through the vagina and cervix
  • Laparoscopy, a small tube with a camera inserted through a small abdominal incision in the skin to investigate the presence of fibroids
  • Biopsy: In some cases, a small tissue sample may be removed during a hysteroscopy or laparoscopy

HOW ARE FIBROIDS TREATED?

Medical Treatments are available and can be used to reduce heavy periods and pain such as Anti-inflammatory or Hormonal treatment (anti-estrogen treatment). A number of surgical approaches may be proposed, dependent upon the patient and the nature of fibroids.

These include:

Hysteroscopic electrical resection of fibroids. 

This is a procedure where a hysteroscope and small surgical instruments are used to remove fibroids from inside the womb (submucosal fibroids). It is suitable for women who want to have children in the future. The procedure is carried out under a general or spinal anesthetic.

Hysteroscopic mechanical tissue removal of fibroids. 

A new procedure where a clinician who’s received specific training in the technique uses a specially designed non-electrical mechanical resection device to cut away and remove the fibroid tissue. The main benefit of this treatment compared with conventional electrical hysteroscopic resection is that it also allows the treatment to be conducted in outpatient clinic with no or only local anesthesia.

Myomectomy 

A myomectomy is surgery to remove the fibroids from the wall of your womb. It may be considered as an alternative to a hysterectomy if you still would like to have children. A myomectomy isn’t suitable for all types of fibroid. Your gynecologist can advise whether the procedure is suitable based on factors such as the size, number, position and nature of the fibroids.

Hysterectomy. 

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. It is the most effective way of preventing the return of fibroids. This treatment may be considered if you have symptomatic fibroids or severe bleeding and you don’t wish to have any more children. There are a number of different ways a hysterectomy can be carried out. Vaginal Hysterectomy, Laparoscopic Hysterectomy or Abdominal Hysterectomy. Boththe vaginal and the laparoscopic hysterectomy are considered as Minimally Invasive Procedures and allow a reasonably fastdischarge from hospital and return to normal activity.1

  • 1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fibroids/