What age can you get fibroids?
Women of all ages can have fibroids. The most common age group of women diagnosed with fibroids is from 30s to 40s. Fibroids can develop from the time of start of periods that is, from the ages of 12-13 onwards till very old age.
What causes fibroids?
No one knows the clear answer but research has shown that there are more than one factors which cause fibroids. These include:
- Hormones: Estrogens and Progestogens
- Genetics factors
- Environmental factors
- Dietary factors or
- All of the above
Do fibroids run in families?
Yes fibroids do run in families. Having a close family member (mother, grandmother, aunt, sister) with fibroids increases your risk. If a woman's mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.
Are some ethnicities more prone to fibroids?
Yes. Below is the order of ethnic frequency.
- African women
- Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region women
- South East Asian women
- European/Caucasian women
Can diet affect fibroids?
Eating a lot of red meat (e.g., beef) is linked with a higher risk of fibroids. Eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women from developing fibroids.
Can I do something to avoid having/to prevent fibroids?
If you are genetically predisposed then there is very little you can do. However, eating healthily and maintaining your weight will reduce your risk of developing fibroids. Women who are overweight are at a higher risk of fibroids. For very obese women, the risk is 2-3 times greater than average.
Can fibroids turns into cancer?
Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous). Rarely (less than one in 1,000) a cancerous fibroid will occur. This is called leiomyosarcoma. Having fibroids does not increase the risk of developing a cancerous fibroid. Having fibroids also does not increase a woman's chances of getting other forms of cancer in the uterus.
Can I become pregnant after removal of fibroids with keyhole surgery?
Yes, your chances of becoming pregnant are significantly increased after keyhole surgery for fibroids.
If you have fibroids removed by open surgery, then the chances of getting pregnant are reduced.
What if I become pregnant and have fibroids?
Fibroids grow rapidly during pregnancy and women who have fibroids are more likely to have problems during pregnancy and delivery. This doesn't mean there will definitely be problems. The most common problems seen in women with fibroids are:
- Caesarean section: The risk of caesarean section is 6 times higher for women with fibroids
- Baby can be breech/oblique/transverse: the baby is not positioned well for vaginal delivery
- Labour fails to progress
- Placental abruption: The placenta separates away from the wall of the uterus before delivery. When this happens the baby does not get enough oxygen and will need emergency caesarean section
- Preterm Delivery: Your baby may deliver much before its due date as there is no room for it to grow due to the fibroid occupying the space.
Talk to your obstetrician if you have fibroids and have become pregnant. You will need special antenatal care.
How do I know for sure that I have Fibroids?
Your Gynaecologist may find fibroids during:
- Routine examination
- By Ultrasound
You may find that you have fibroids incidentally during the following investigations:
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): done to check why you have not been able to get pregnant
- X Rays of the abdomen, back and pelvis (for any other reason)
Your Gynaecologist may want to do the following investigations to confirm the presence of fibroids: