Fibroids, or uterine fibroids, are benign (non-cancerous) tumors in female internal genital organs. Such types of tumors are pretty common in the body. Another name for these growths is myoma. In the most severe case the tumor can be as big as a full-term pregnancy, however, normally they are not big and sometimes hard to detect.
The actual causes of the fibroids are hardly known. For some reason healthy vaginal cells start to multiply and grow. The tumor does not go into deeper layers of the tissues, but stays under the mucous membrane of the vagina. Fibroids do not break down blood vessels and do not cause intoxication.
Causes and symptoms
Conditions that promote fibroids development:
- hormonal disorders caused by ovary or endometrium pathologies;
- viral infections;
- long-term vaginitis;
- other factors that act on a cell level, that interfere with normal structure of the vaginal walls.
As a rule, fibroids develop in women of reproductive age. The tumor grows over times and starts to put pressure on the muscles. Small fibroids do not cause any discomfort to the patient. However, with growth the tumor starts to cause disturbances. The woman may experience lower abdominal pain, pain in the vagina area, pain during a sexual intercourse.
The tissues of the tumor change. As a result, the level of immunity in the affected area drops. It may lead to inflammation, suppuration or bleeding.
Other symptoms that may signal fibroids:
- discomfort in vagina when walking or sitting;
- pain and bleeding during sex;
- yellowish vaginal discharge with unpleasant smell;
- general fatigue.
Although, it has not been scientifically proved, some experts believe that fibroids may cause excessive bleeding. Fibroids change the uterus muscular tissue, which disturbs the bleeding control during a period. This might lead to heavier or prolonged menstruation.
In most cases, the problem can be eliminated by a surgical interference only. However, if the tumor is small and not growing, the patient can refrain from the operation. Regular visits to the gynaecologist are recommended in this case.
Small fibroids are hardly seen in the mirrors, but they are easy to detect by means of bimanual examination. For more accurate diagnosis the patient undergoes X-ray or transvaginal ultrasound.