Table of contents:
- Type-specific symptoms
- How to confirm the diagnosis
- How the treatment is done
- When to go to the doctor
The uterine fibroid, also called fibroma or uterine leiomyoma, can cause several symptoms such as abdominal cramps and bleeding outside the menstrual period, however, in some cases, the presence of the fibroid does not cause symptoms, being discovered only during exams routine gynecology.
Because it is a benign tumor, myoma does not usually pose dangers to women's he alth, and its symptoms can be controlled with medication, which must be recommended by the gynecologist, or in some cases, surgery may be necessary. for its removal. Find out what causes myoma and how to treat it.
Fibroids, regardless of the affected region, can cause general symptoms such as:
- Increased blood flow and menstrual period duration;
- Bleeding outside of menstrual period;
- Abdominal pain and cramps in the uterus region;
- Lumbar pain;
- Feeling of pressure in the belly;
- Increased urge to urinate or urinary incontinence;
- Pain during intercourse;
- Difficulty getting pregnant.
In the case of pregnant women, the symptoms of myoma are the same, but they can become more intense during pregnancy, and it is important to rest so as not to put the baby's he alth at risk. See other symptoms caused by changes in the uterus.
Uterine fibroid symptoms may also vary depending on the type of fibroid, for example:
- Subserous fibroids: are those that are on the outside of the uterus and, therefore, can grow larger and push the organs around, causing increased urge to urinate, diarrhea or constipation. When they hang out of the uterus, they are called pedunculated fibroids;
- Intramural fibroids: are located inside the wall that forms the uterus and thus can cause more abdominal pain, cramping and pain during intercourse;
- Submucous fibroids: are located inside the uterus, causing bleeding and difficulty getting pregnant.
In addition, if the woman has many fibroids or if they are large, the symptoms may be more intense. Learn more about the types of uterine fibroids.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis of uterine fibroids is based on symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding or out of period, constipation, cramps or also anemia due to heavy menstrual bleeding.In addition, the gynecological touch exam allows the doctor to observe the female genitals and palpate the abdomen, to feel the contour of the uterus. If the woman has symptoms or changes during the clinical examination, the gynecologist may recommend performing an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound. See more about transvaginal ultrasound.
In some cases, the doctor may request more specific tests, such as hysteroscopy, hysterosonography and hysterosalpingography, for example, which are useful to evaluate the uterine cavity.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for fibroids is performed in women who have symptoms, and the use of hormonal drugs, such as the contraceptive pill or intrauterine IUD (Mirena), for example, with the aim of reducing the size of the fibroid may be recommended and thus alleviate the symptoms.
In addition, the doctor may indicate the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, for example, to relieve symptoms that bother the woman, such as colic.
In some cases, especially when the fibroid is very large and the symptoms are more intense, surgery to remove the fibroid may be recommended. Learn more about how the surgery is performed to remove fibroids.
When to go to the doctor
The ideal is to have gynecological exams at least once a year. However, if you experience symptoms of increased menstrual flow, frequent cramps or out-of-period menstrual bleeding, pain during intercourse or an urgency to urinate, you should seek follow-up with your gynecologist for the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
In case of severe vaginal bleeding or severe cramping that appears suddenly, seek medical help immediately or go to the hospital or emergency room.