1) What are fibroids ?
Fibroids are the most common growths in a woman’s reproductive system. Fibroids are also known as myomas , fibromyomas , or leiomyomas . These are benign (non-cancerous) , well-circumscribed tumours that grow outside, inside or within the smooth muscle in the wall of the womb (uterus).
2) How common are fibroids ?
Fibroids are extremely common and approximately 50% of women will have fibroids. Most fibroids are small and asymptomatic, but 40% women with fibroids will present with some symptoms.
3) What are the types of fibroids ?
Fibroid tumors usually present in four different types:
Pedunculated fibroids: are those extending from the uterus on a stalk.This type of tumor may be found within the endometrial cavity or extending outside the uterus into the pelvis. These are the most easily removed tumors, and often the surgical removal can be performed through laparoscopy or hysteroscopy. The symptoms include pain or pressure in a specific area, or bleeding depending on where the tumor is located.
Subserosal : are those fibroids located just beneath the outer layer of the uterus. These are the tumors that are most easily accessible and are often removed via laparoscopic myomectomy. If allowed to increase in size, symptoms can include pelvic pain, back pain, urinary frequency, constipation, bloating and indigestion.
Intramural fibroids : are those located deep in the uterus in the main body of the organ. These are the most common and the more difficult to remove, and are responsible for the highest percentage of hysterectomies. These tumors can produce bleeding problems, abdominal pressure, and painful intercourse, in addition to all the symptoms listed above
Submucosal fibroids : These fibroids are directly adjacent to the endometrial lining. These are the tumors primarily responsible for heavy menstrual bleeding or miscarriages. These tumors impinge on the endometrial cavity and can produce long heavy periods, cramps, clots, and cervical pressure.