Fibroids are most commonly found tumour of uterus which is usually non cancerous tissue, which grow in the muscular part of the uterus. They are very common – up to 80% of women have at least one fibroid – and increase with age. Nobody knows what causes fibroids. They just grow in the uterus and become more common as women get older. it is also commoner in Africans .
Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms. If the fibroids become very large, they can cause significant period problems or pelvic discomfort.
Whether fibroids affect your fertility, and therefore whether you need them removed, depends on the size of the uterus and where in the uterus, the fibroid is located.
If the fibroid is located on the inside of your uterus (submucosal fibroid) distorting or obstructing the uterine cavity or blocking the fallopian tubes, they are highly likely to be affecting your fertility by interfering with implantation of embryo and most specialists would recommend their removal.
However if the fibroid does not affect the lining of the uterus, they have much less effect on your fertility and you may not need to have anything done about them.
Most fibroids do not affect a woman’s fertility. They are mostly found as incidental findings during an ultrasound scan and the vast majority have no effect and do not need any treatment.
The only two situations where fibroids interfere with fertility are:
• Where the fibroid is very large distorting the lining of the uterus • Where the fibroid is located inside the uterus itself (called a submucous fibroid).
In these two situations, surgery to remove the fibroid may be needed.
If treatment is needed at all surgery is usually the best approach. Where the woman is still trying to conceive, surgery to remove the fibroid (called a myomectomy) is normally carried out. Where a woman’s family is complete, and the fibroids are causing severe symptoms, a hysterectomy may be considered.
Other treatments are less effective. Uterine artery embolisation (UAE) involves injecting small pellets into the blood supply to the uterus to partially cut off the blood supply to the uterus. This can help a fibroid to shrink without invasive surgery but is only recommended for women whose family is complete. Some anti-hormonal agents can be used to shrink a fibroid but the effects are relatively small.