Makurdi – A fertility expert, Dr. Stephen Hwande, says that pain during intercourse, increased menstrual cramping and increased urination are early signs of fibroid.
Hwande, Managing Director of First Fertility Hospital, Makurdi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Makurdi that heavy bleeding between or during one’s period, that result into blood clots, may also signify fibroid.
“When menstruation last longer than usual, a woman should also watch it; fibroid may just be lurking,” he said.
He listed other common signs associated with fibroid to include pressure or fullness in the lower abdomen, swelling or enlargement of the abdomen and pain in the pelvis or lower back.
The expert defined fibroid as abnormal growths that develops in or on a woman’s uterus.
“Sometime, these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods,” he said.
The expert said that in some cases, the fibroid could have no signs or symptoms, especially since its growth is typically benign (non-cancerous).
He explained that the causes of fibroid was not yet known, but revealed that they vary and develop at different locations in and on the uterus.
According to him, intramural fibroid is the most common and usually within the lining of the uterus.
“Intramural fibroid can grow larger and actually stretch a woman’s womb,” he explained.
He listed other forms of fibroid to include subserosal fibroid, which forms outside the uterus, and could grow large enough to make one’s womb appear bigger on one side.
“There is also the submucosal fibroid, which develop in the inner lining on the uterus.
“`The submucosal fibroid is not common, but may cause heavy menstrual bleeding and victims usually have trouble conceiving,’’ he said.
On possible causes, Hwande maintained that they were not clear, but opined that several factors may influence the formation.
“Hormones, estrogen and progesterone are the hormones produced by the ovaries. They cause the uterine lining to regenerate during each menstrual cycle and may stimulate the growth of fibroid.
Family history may also lead to it. If a mother, sister or grandmother has a history of this condition, a woman could develop it as well.
“Pregnancy also increases the production of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body; fibroid may develop and grow rapidly while one is pregnant,’’ Hwande added.
On treatment, he said that doctors develop treatment plan based on age, size of the fibroid, and one’s overall health.
“One may also receive a combination of treatments to regulate the hormone levels and shrink the tumour,” he said.
The fertility expert acknowledged claims that some foods could cause and prevent fibroid, but stated that they had not been scientifically and medically confirmed.