A Specialised Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Abosede Lewu, says some women with fibroids can experience painful sex, painful mensuration and other devastating symptoms.
Lewu, Team Lead at Girlsaide Initiative and Convener, Keep All Mothers Alive (KAMA) Project, told newsmen on Friday that symptoms of fibroids could be huge, stressful and sometimes devastating.
Newsmen report that July is Fibroid Awareness Month, a time set aside to bring attention to a common, yet under-discussed women’s health issue.
She described fibroids as abnormal growths of the muscles of the womb of which the exact cause is unknown.
According to her, fibroids are not cancers; they are common in 50 to 70 per cent of women and less than half of women with fibroids have symptoms.
“These women experience heavy menses; some use adult diapers, some sit on bowls, just to bleed into it; some need to be transfused with blood after each period, painful menses so severe some can’t move or work
“They also experience tummy and back pains, painful sex, in some, sex is impossible, frequent urination, constipation, and big tummy that may look like pregnancy.
“Fibroids can contribute to infertility in some women and depending on location of fibroids; it can also affect kidneys, disturbs pregnancy with risk of miscarriage or premature delivery of babies.
“It can cause repeated hospital admissions from degeneration of the fibroid in pregnancy.
“This can be painful too. Abnormal position of baby necessitating CS and risk of bleeding after delivery,” she said.
Lewu said that treatment might be unnecessary, if a woman with fibroids did not have symptoms or it was not affecting her in any way.
She advised that such woman should do an annual pelvic ultrasound to monitor the fibroids.
The gynaecologist said there were newer and more advanced method of fibroid treatment.
Lewu said that women with fibroids should discuss with a specialist on the best line of management or treatment.
She said that treatment could depend on the size of the fibroid, severity of symptoms, age, desire to have babies and available specialist or expertise.
“The treatment can be medical, that is, non hormonal or hormonal and it can be surgical with minimally invasive or open surgeries.
“Medications treat the symptoms and shrink fibroids, but it may grow back.
“It can also reduce bleeding, reduce pain, reduce size before surgery, stop the process of menstruation or build back blood level.
“Some have to do surgeries such as
Myomectomy, which is the removal of fibroids or Hysterectomy which is removal of the womb, to get better. These treatments are to alleviate symptoms and not a cure for fibroids.
“It is advisable to receive care from a gynaecologist than fall victim to scammers, who dupe women, promising them the impossible treatments,” Lewu said.