Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) tumours that develop in the smooth muscles of the uterus. They are also known as leiomyoma or myoma and are the most common benign tumour in the pelvis of women. They may vary in sizes, numbers and location. They can be very small, even microscopic, or may grow very large over time. There can be only one fibroid at a time, but they are often found to be many in number. Fibroids can weigh several pounds or kilograms.
Almost 50% of the women with uterine fibroids have severe symptoms that can affect their quality of life and day-to-day activities like:
- Heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding,
- Pain in the pelvis,
- Abdominal cramps,
- Pain during sexual intercourse,
- Pressure on pelvis and urinary bladder, urinary frequency or constipation,
- Large fibroid can cause an enlargement of the lower abdomen,
Uterine fibroids have also been associated with infertility issues as these cause structural distortion of the uterus and other reproductive parts.
Different treatment options are available for managing the fibroids. The commonly used surgical methods of treatment are hysterectomy (removal of uterus) or myomectomy (removal of the fibroid alone).
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a well-established non-surgical procedure, which have fewer complications compared to surgical procedures and lesser chances of recurrence of fibroids.