Understanding Uterine Fibroids and Their Impact on Pregnancy
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop in the uterus, commonly diagnosed during pregnancy or perimenopause. While they are usually benign and do not spread beyond the womb, they can grow in size and cause heavy bleeding or pressure on abdominal organs. This guide explores the types, causes, and symptoms of fibroids, as well as their impact on pregnancy, and the available treatment options.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
When uterine muscle cells clone and grow, fibroids form. They can occur anytime after puberty, but pregnancy and perimenopause are the most typical times. Some fibroids grow and cause bleeding or abdominal organ pressure, affecting a woman’s quality of life.
Where Do Fibroids Grow?
Fibroids can develop in different parts of the uterus, causing different symptoms: Submucosal fibroids grow inside the uterine cavity, causing heavy menstrual bleeding, fertility problems, and issues with carrying or delivering a child. Intramural fibroids grow within the muscular wall of the uterus, causing pelvic pain, abnormal menstrual cycles, and uncomfortable pressure. Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside wall of the uterus, causing symptoms like back pain and bladder pressure. Pedunculated fibroids grow on stalks and can emerge from either the inside or outside uterine walls, causing severe pelvic pain if the stalk is twisted or impeded.
What Are The Symptoms?
Fibroids can form anywhere in or on the womb and range in size from invisible to uncomfortable. Fibroids cause excessive and prolonged menstrual bleeding, cramps, exhaustion, anemia, and weakness. Fibroids can strain on adjacent organs, producing urine frequency or urgency, bloating, constipation, discomfort sitting or during intercourse, and a belly bulge. Rarely, a bigger fibroid might overrun its blood supply and produce severe pain.
Fibroids And Pregnancy
Depending on size and location, fibroids might cause pregnancy difficulties. Uterine fibroids may impair fertility or hinder embryo implantation. Pregnancy hormones can increase fibroids, causing problems during delivery. Fibroids can potentially cause the infant to lie breech or transverse, or hinder labor and placenta evacuation, requiring a cesarean procedure.
Free OB/GYN Clinics
If you suspect you have uterine fibroids, a visit to an OB/GYN is recommended. However, for women who lack insurance, finding affordable OB/GYN care can be challenging. Free OB/GYN clinics offer comprehensive and compassionate care to women in need, including prenatal care, family planning, cancer screening, and fibroid treatment options. Free clinics are available in many cities and can provide a vital service to women who may otherwise go without care.