Uterine fibroids are common and appear in various forms. Uterine fibroids are classified into four categories and out of that, submucosal fibroids are the rarest ones. Let us understand, about what submucosal fibroid is, along with its causes, symptoms and treatment.
What is Submucosal Fibroid?
Fibroids in uterus are benign and non-cancerous and the ones which develop into submucosal layer are known as submucosal fibroids. There is a submucosal layers, which is the inner side of uterus and submucosal fibroids are attached to the uterus through a long stalk which proves to be quite painful during the removal process. Submucosal fibroids are also known as stalked fibroids and have an appearance similar to the pedunculated subserosal fibroids owing to the presence of stalk. Beyond that, there is no similarity. Talking about the location, submucosal fibroid is found on the inner lining of the uterus and besides that these fibroids are also found in endometrial cavity.
The submucosal fibroid is a rare occurrence and there are around 5 percent chances that these fibroids will occur in women. These fibroids are developed in the uterine cavity and when talking about the large submucosal fibroids, blockage of fallopian tubes may become quite probable as well. Submucosal fibroids are thought to be related to fertility.
What are the Causes of Submucosal Fibroid?
While there are no clear causes of submucosal fibroids, there are some breeding grounds which can aggravate the problem related with infertility. It is the hormones which can becomes major reason behind the causation of submucosal fibroids, particularly hormone production by ovaries, like estrogen and progesterone.
Uterine lining regenerates during menstrual cycle which can lead to fibroid problem. Besides that, if a woman has a family history of fibroids, it too can be a contributing cause of submucosal fibroid. While talking about pregnancy, the level of hormones like progesterone and estrogen may shoot up which leads to development of fibroids during pregnancy.
If a woman has a high body weight and is from African and American descent then also chances of occurrence of fibroids are very high. After 30 years of age, woman’s body becomes more prone to developing various hormone problems, which can again increase the risk of submucosal fibroid.
What are the Symptoms of Submucosal Fibroid?
Some submucosal fibroids present with obvious symptoms like abnormalities in the menstrual bleeding which accompanies heavy flow. In some of the cases, periods may last for a longer duration and cause trouble. Other symptoms of submucosal fibroid, due to heavy bleeding includes signs of anemia. Heavy bleeding may be accompanied with passing of clots during periods which can affect the reproductive health of the woman as well.
The symptoms of submucosal fibroid may form a vicious circle which can cause severe anemia. Many women also experience fatigue and dizziness, due to excessive bleeding.
Symptoms of submucosal fibroids also depend on the presence of any other type of fibroids, which can complicate the situation.
Some other symptoms of submucosal fibroid include
- Sometimes, bleeding is observed during periods
- Severe back pain
- Period may accompany abdominal cramps which are frequent and mild and severe
- Pain in pelvic region
- Menstrual periods are heavy and prolonged
- Discomfort in lower abdomen
- Even after you have reached the menopausal phase, bleeding is prominent
Above are the symptoms which most women suffering from fibroid experience and there are some treatments available to cure submucosal fibroids.
What is the Treatment of Submucosal Fibroid?
Here are some of the options for treatment of submucosal fibroid.
- Laparoscopic method
- Surgical treatment which includes hysteroscopy and submucosa resection
- Uterine artery embolization
When medical treatment for submucosal fibroid does not provide any relief, surgical intervention is sought. During hysterectomy, cervix may or may not be removed which totally depends upon the severity of the condition. The best treatment approach for submucosal fibroid is planned by the treating physician, depending on extent and severity of the problem and the health of the woman.
How Submucosal Fibroid is Related with Infertility?
Talking about the connection between fibroids and infertility, it is blockage of fallopian tube which is held responsible for causing infertility problems. If the fallopian tube is blocked, fertilization of egg becomes difficult as sperm is prevented from reaching the egg. In case of large submucosal uterine fibroids the uterine cavity also increases and due to the large cavity, it takes more time for the sperm to travel up to the egg which can delay conception and pregnancy.
Some issues in fertility are caused by submucosal fibroid, which may include the following:
- Sperm migration
- Ovum transport
- May also cause atrophy, inflammation and hyperplasia
- Inadequate blood supply to endometrium
- Distorts the cavity in uterus
Besides causing infertility problems, submucosal fibroids may also cause some major complications during pregnancy. As when fibroids grow in size, there is no space for the baby in the uterus which may lead to miscarriage and several deformities. During the post-partum phase, it may also lead to hemorrhage which can lead to several complications.