Fibroids are the tumors caused in the female reproductive tract or in uterus and are considered to be an abnormal growth, much larger in size. These are non-cancerous or benign tumors which grow in the muscle layers of the womb that is uterus. Many women suffering from the disease are devoid of the symptoms and when the associated symptoms show up, it may depend upon the location and size of the fibroids as well. How are fibroids detected, is a common question and this article helps you make you aware of some important diagnostic tests of fibroids.
In the recent years, more women are diagnosed with fibroid which has a lot to do with the hormonal imbalance. Uterine fibroids are also known as uterine leiomyomas and most of the times, no symptoms are observed. Most of the women are prone to develop these tumors after reaching 50 and due to lack of awareness about this disease.
There are certain types of fibroids as follows:
- Subserosal fibroids which are located outside uterus wall which develops into pedunculated fibroids or stalks and are often large in size.
- Submucosal fibroids are located in the uterus wall muscle
- Intramural is the most common type of fibroid which is located in the uterus lining
- Cervical fibroids can be very dangerous as they are located in the neck of womb also known as cervix
There are no specific causes of uterine fibroids, but a lot may be related to your diet and lifestyle. Any drastic changes in these factors or any other underlying condition can trigger hormone imbalance. This in turn can have an impact on the female hormones and reproductive system, which can contribute to the causation of fibroids. It can occur during pregnancy or even later. Hormone changes play an important role and hence, as estrogen declines, during menopause the fibroids may shrink. Some diet related issues are also there which includes heavy intake of following alcohol, red meat and caffeine. But if you can substitute the not-so-good diet with fruits and vegetables you are sure to enjoy good health.
Fibroid Detection or How are Fibroids Detected?
Fibroids are detected using some of the following methods.
Ultrasound helps in detecting the problem and the sound waves in the uterus confirm that there are fibroids in the body. In vaginal ultrasound, a small device also known as transducer is placed inside vagina, which helps to get images from the uterus. In transabdominal ultrasound, the transducer is placed over the abdomen which shows if there is present any fibroid or not.
In another method, lab tests are carried out if menstrual flow is abnormal. These menstrual problems could be due to changes in the blood count. If anemia occurs then chances are high that the patients might be having fibroid. Blood tests are carried out for the disorders related with thyroid as well as other bleeding problems.
At times, not much information is revealed in the normal process of ultrasound and in that case, advanced imaging tests are carried out which include the following
- Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI which confirms the location at which fibroids are there in the body along with indicating the size. There are present different types of tumors through which can also cause problem in the uterus and MRI is very helpful in establishing the suitable treatments for the same to avail the maximum benefits. This is the commonest test used for fibroid detection.
- Saline infusion sonogram also known as hysterosonography uses the sterile saline which helps in expanding the cavity which is formed in uterus. This process easily states out the presence of submucosal fibroids and endometrium in the female reproductive tract. This is one way in which fibroids are detected.
- Hysterosalpingography is very beneficial in highlighting the uterine cavity. It helps detect problem in the fallopian tube with the help of X-Rays; in case of blockage, proper treatment can be carried out.
- To check the uterus walls, hysteroscopy is carried out by inserting the telescope in the form of tube to the cervix that enters the uterus. After that, saline is injected into the uterus which is meant to expand the cavity to find out the presence of fibroids. In this procedure, fallopian tubes are also checked to confirm its health status.
In case your body shows no symptoms of fibroid, you may not feel the need to get the tests done for detecting the fibroids. If you have smaller fibroids, normal finger tests by the doctor will not show up its occurrence. Fibroids can be detected best using these techniques.
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