Fibroids are noncancerous growths that affect women of child bearing age.
A gynaecologist, Juliet Offor, said on Monday that heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding might be an early sign of fibroid.
Ms. Offor, who works with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, made the statement in Lagos.
The Online Medical Dictionary defines fibroid as “noncancerous (benign) tumours that grow from the muscle layers of the uterus (womb).”
She said “fibroids are noncancerous growths that affect women of child bearing age.
“‘Women who have heavy bleeding during their menstrual cycle for more than seven days may be having symptom of fibroid.
“Heavy menstrual flow that affects a woman’s daily activity is a common symptom of fibroid.
“A woman that soaks through a sanitary protection in less than an hour and is passing blood clots every time she has menstrual cycle should see a doctor.
“Such women might develop anaemia, headache, lightheadedness and fatigue.”
Ms. Offor listed other symptoms of the disease to include bloating or fullness in the belly or pelvis, pain in the lower pelvis, constipation and painful intercourse.
“The most common bladder symptom is the need to urinate frequently, especially if a woman wakes up several times during the night to empty her bladder.
“Fibroid might interfere with fertility and reduces chances of conception.
“Though, fibroid is noncancerous, occasionally, fibroid interferes with fertility and pregnancy.
“A fibroid projecting into the womb might either block an embryo from implanting there or cause problems with the pregnancy like miscarriages,” she said.
Ms. Offor said that most women developed fibroid at some point in their lifetime; but that obesity, heredity and early menstruation increased the risk of having the disease.
“We are not exactly sure why fibroids occur, it may be due to the estrogens or even heredity factor if a woman’s mother has had it.
“Overweight and obese women are at significantly higher risk of developing fibroids, compared to women of normal weight.
”Also, women aged between 30 and 50 are most likely to develop fibroids.
“Women who had children early were less likely to develop fibroid,’’ the gynaecologist said.
Ms. Offor said that the treatment of the disease depended on the severity and size of the growth.
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