Uterine fibroids are benign growths in and around the uterus. The condition is very common, affecting over half of women in childbearing age, but it in many cases, it does not cause any symptoms, being discovered accidentally, during routine pelvic exams.
The causes of uterine fibroids are not exactly known, but most medical experts agree that they are related to the hormonal balance of the female body, especially the balance between the production of estrogen and progesterone. The women who do have symptoms (about 30% of all women who have fibroids) might experience menstrual periods that are too heavy, too long or very painful, abdominal discomfort during periods as well as during ovulation, constipation, lower back pain, the need to urinate frequently, pain and discomfort during sex, joint and muscle pain and breast pain or discomfort. Fibroids are non-cancerous, which means that they almost never turn into cancer, but in very severe cases, they can cause infertility.
There are various uterine fibroids treatment options, including the administration of medicines to restore the body’s hormonal balance and the surgical removal of the growths, if possible, or of the entire uterus. Many cases of uterine fibroids can be successfully treated through embolization, the process of introducing tiny particles into the blood vessels that feed the fibroids to cut off the blood supply to the growths, thus reducing their size or getting rid of them completely.