Fibroids in Uterus

Illustration showing uterine fibroidsThe uterus (womb) is made up of muscular, fibrous and glandular tissue. After childbirth, the uterus shrinks back to its usual size, but the stress on the uterus during pregnancy may result in some minor injury to the fibrous tissue in its wall, and after the uterus shrinks, it may repair itself in an abnormal way by the formation of one or more hard fibrous balls in the wall of the uterus. These are referred to as fibroids.

When the uterus contracts to force out the blood and wastes during a period, the fibroids distort the uterus causing painful cramps and sometimes heavy menstrual bleeding.

Fibroids can usually detected on pelvic examination, but the diagnosis may be confirmed by an ultrasound scan of the abdomen, laparoscopy or special xrays of the uterus.

The treatments available include a hysterectomy to completely remove the uterus, or if the woman wishes to have more children, the individual fibroids can be removed from the uterus.

Uterine fibroid ultrasound

Ultrasound showing small uterine fibroid
Image by James Heilman, MD (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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