Fibroids - Causes of Female Infertility

These are non-cancerous tumours which form within the uterus. They are one of the most common forms of tumour in women and usually affect those of childbearing age.

Around 70% of women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives.

They usually lie dormant and only come to light during an internal examination or a sonogram.

The exact cause of fibroids is unknown but research indicates that the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone cause these tumours to grow. Fibroids can grow in all 3 layers of the uterus (middle, inner and outer layers), either internally or externally. Symptoms of fibroids depend on which layer they inhabit.

For example, constipation and backache are indications of fibroids in the outer layer of the uterus, which has compressed the rectum.

Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding indicates fibroid growth inside or outside the uterus.

Urinary incontinence is a sign of fibroid growth on the outside of the uterus.

Surgery has been the only treatment up until now although there is a non-surgical option which closes off the blood supply to the tumours. This newer option is especially important for those women who are trying to conceive as the surgical option often meant a hysterectomy. And this would remove the ability to have children.

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