Fibroids are typically non-cancerous tumours that form in the wall of the womb. Though their exact cause is unclear, they’re linked to high levels of oestrogen, the female reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries. Fibroids usually develop during a woman’s reproductive years (from approximately 16 to 50 years of age), and tend to get larger with time until she reaches menopause.
Depending on their size and location, fibroids may manifest in different ways. Heavy and painful menstruation is one; or you may experience urinary symptoms if the fibroid is located near the bladder. And if the fibroid is pressing on the bowels, it could be causing bloating and constipation.
Fibroids may start off as small as little grapes – difficult to see on an ultrasound scan; but they can grow to be as large as watermelons, easily felt as a swelling in the abdomen.
Conservative treatment involves observation with repeat ultrasound scans every few months to ensure
that the fibroids remain stable in size. Fibroids that are large or grow rapidly are at more risk of undergoing
Medical treatment usually involves medication to relieve symptoms such as heavy or painful menstruation.
Surgery may sometimes be the best option, especially where medical treatment is not working. Surgery can be performed by minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery or sometimes hysteroscopy, depending on the size and location of the fibroid.