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All You Need to Know about Uterine Fibroids – South Shore Women’s Clinic

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??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????BellaNaija recognizes that in Nigeria and many other countries, medical conditions which affect women are under researched and there is so much misinformation out there. That is why we decided to media partner with South Shore Women’s Clinic for their conference focused on Advances in the Treatment of Uterine Fibroid in Nigeria.

As part of that partnership, in collaboration with South Shore Women’s Clinic, we bring you this updated fact sheet on Fibroids. We understand that many women including BellaNaijarians struggle with fibroid diagnoses. We have heard so many heartbreaking stories which did not end well, therefore, the starting point is good quality information so you can make an informed decision if faced with a fibroid diagnosis. In addition, we hope that this sensitizes others, so the next time someone tells you that they “have fibroids”, you are informed and empathic.

What are fibroids?
Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that grow in or around the womb (uterus). These growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and may vary in size, from as small as 1cm to as big as 25cm and can be big enough to make a woman look up to 8 months pregnant. One person can have only one fibroid or as many as fifty or sixty fibroids in the womb at a time.

Fibroids are extremely common. More than 75 percent of women can be found to have small fibroids using MRI, a very sensitive imaging technique which is more accurate than a conventional scan. However, only about 30 percent of all women will have fibroids large enough to be noted during a pelvic exam, and the vast majority of even these women, more than 80 percent, will never have symptoms and will never require treatment.

FIBROIDS PICTUREWhat are the causes of fibroids?
The definite cause of fibroids is not known, but each individual fibroid starts form a single cell growing abnormally (mutation), and these cells produce large amounts of collagen and other proteins. The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are necessary for fibroids to grow, so they usually do not occur before puberty when production of these hormones begins and shrink after menopause when hormone production drastically decreases. Women with fibroids are not more prone to breast lumps than anyone else or to developing any other benign or cancerous conditions.

What are the Symptoms of Fibroids?
Most women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms. However, fibroids can cause a number of symptoms depending on their size, location and how close they are to adjacent pelvic organs. Women may experience:

  • Heavy bleeding between or during periods that may include blood clots
  • Menstrual periods that last longer than usual
  • Increased menstrual cramping (dysmenorrhoea)
  • Swelling or enlargement of the abdomen
  • Increased urination
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain in the pelvis and/or lower back
  • Pressure or fullness in the lower abdomen
  • Fibroids can also be a cause of infertility, depending on the exact location in the uterus

What are the Types of Fibroids?
Different types of fibroids develop in different locations in and on the uterus as follows:
Sub mucosal fibroids: They grow and bulge toward the inside of the uterus. They grow directly below the lining cells of the uterus and may lead to heavy or irregular bleeding.
Intramural fibroids: These stay mostly embedded within the middle of the wall of the uterus
Subserosal fibroids: They grow on the outside of the uterus

uterine-fibroidsWhat are the options for treatment?
Fibroids do not need to be removed if they are not causing any problems. If a fibroid is significantly affecting the quality of life of a woman in any way, she should seek medical attention for a definitive treatment. The most common treatment for fibroids is surgical, which involves removing the fibroid(s) from the womb. The procedure is called a myomectomy and this is usually done through the abdomen (called an abdominal or open myomectomy).

In Nigeria, fibroid surgeries are usually associated with fear because many people have heard stories from the media, or have friends and relatives who either died or had very bad experiences with the procedure – blood transfusions, long hospital stay, difficulty getting pregnant after the procedure, removal of the womb completely, problems with anesthesia and even death.

Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, the following can be considered:
Hysteroscopic myomectomy: This is a minimally invasive procedure performed under anesthesia. A fine instrument with a camera is introduced into the vagina and it goes through the cervix to the uterus without making an incision and the video images are projected on a screen. The fibroid is then removed in pieces through the cervix. Patients go home about two hours after the procedure. Recovery is fast and the uterus is preserved. This procedure is only suitable for fibroid inside the womb.

hysteroscopy
Laparoscopic myomectomy: Small incisions less than a quarter of an inch in size are made in the abdomen and the fibroid is removed in small pieces through the incisions. The recovery period is very short.

LAPARASCOPY 1

LAPARASCOPY 2Abdominal myomectomy: This is the traditional approach to removing fibroids; it is performed through an incision in the abdomen. This technique is usually reserved for very large fibroids that cannot be removed through minimally invasive surgery.
Laparoscopic or Open hysterectomy: This is the complete removal of the uterus and is reserved for women who do not want children in the future and who have multiple fibroids that are not suitable for myomectomy or uterine artery embolization. This can be considered a definitive treatment and ensures that the fibroids do not recur.
Drug treatments: There are some medications (tablets and injections) used to treat fibroids. Drugs alone are usually insufficient as they grow back once the drug is stopped. The drugs are hormonal and can have adverse side effects if used for prolonged periods. In selected cases, drugs are used to shrink fibroids just before surgery to make the procedure less complicated
Uterine Fibroid Embolization: This non-surgical treatment is and increasingly popular alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy. It is performed by specialists called Interventional Radiologists and involves introducing a catheter through the blood vessels in the thigh and releasing microbeads which block the blood supply of the fibroid, thus causing them to die off.

Fibroid EmbolizationAn abdominal myomectomy is safe if it is done by a skilled professional in a standard hospital. However, there are other surgical procedures which are less invasive than the abdominal myomectomy and are associated with quicker recovery and fewer side effects. There are also new options for treatment which are non-surgical.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and has problems like bleeding or infertility, should not allow the fear of surgery prevent her from dealing with the problem and taking a decision on treatment, or resort to alternative choices of treatment that will only offer, at best, temporary relief.

About South Shore Women’s Clinic
It is a unique women-focused health care centre that runs a dedicated fibroid clinic. As an advocate of Women’s health in Nigeria.

They are holding their Annual Scientific Seminar aimed to educate and inform the Nigerian woman about different types of fibroid and all the treatment options available.

Event Details
Theme: Advances in the treatment of Uterine Fibroid in Nigeria
Date: Saturday, 18th October 2014
Time: 9am – 5pm
Venue: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Victoria Island. Lagos

2014 FIBROID SEMINAR INVITATION

Photo Credit: © Pretorius | Dreamstime.com

__________________________________________________________________________
BellaNaija is a Media Partner with South Shore Women’s Clinic’s 2nd Annual Scientific Seminar

34 Comments

  1. carphy

    October 17, 2014 at 7:22 am

    For a sec, I thought it was puff puff x_x***it is well

  2. Eileen

    October 17, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Seen..

  3. Timmy T

    October 17, 2014 at 7:33 am

    For a young lady like me who is not married nor have any children, the diagnosis of uterine fibroids was really devastating to me about a year ago. Mine were significant because of the bulge in my abdomen during ovulation and the extreme anemia i had. I decided to have a myomectomy done (GYN suggested a robotic surgery) apparently its safer, less risk for infection and lesser pain post operatively. Hmmm the rest was history for me my HEART stopped during surgery, I was in a comma for a while and the surgical team told my family I was at risk for brain damage due to no blood supply to my brain when my HEART stopped. I ended up with series of complications and multiple surgeries afterwards. Still trying to do the legal analysis of what happened so I could file a law suit. At the end of the day the FIBROIDS were never removed!

    • zee

      October 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Oh dear, so sorry, it is well with you *hugssss*

    • faith

      October 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Did this happen in naija? Sorry dear…

    • VEE

      October 17, 2014 at 8:18 am

      May the Lord lay his healing hands on you and make this pass…It is well

    • So sorry

      October 17, 2014 at 9:20 am

      So sorry dear. God will in deed perfect all that concerns you. You’ll see.

      Just trust Him completely.

  4. Hola

    October 17, 2014 at 8:17 am

    @ Timmy am sorry u had to go tru all that. It’s so sad. But thank God ur still alive. I had a mayomectomy in January and about 12 or more fibroids were removed. I was scared before the procedure , but I also knew I will be fine n dat all will go well. The most imprt thing is to eliminate fear n doubt completely from your mind and face the problem head on. I strongly believe I have been healed completely and they won’t grow back.

  5. Fols

    October 17, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Thank you BN & South Shore for this very useful information.

  6. Engee

    October 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I was also devastated when I was told I had uterine fibroid in 2004, my mother refused to have me go through any form of surgery, I lived with it ,until 2011, I was anemic, my periods never stops, it could last for two weeks, I fainted at work on day, was rushed to the hospital and they discovered that my PCV was extremely low, I almost died, my brothers had to donate 1 pint of blood each, still my mum wouldn’t bulge and kept taking me to church, my next experience became worse and my eldest brother told my mum that he wants me to stay with him for some time, he took me to a gynecologist, several scan and tests was carried out and I was booked for surgery without my mother’s knowledge, it was performed Nov 26th, 2011.. she came by to see me later that day, prayed for me, today I’m a proud mother of one, I give GOD all the Glory, HE truly saved me. ,

    • So sorry

      October 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

      We thank God for you.

      Most mum’s from the 19th Century kick against it. They always say a big NO. But when it’s your life and your pain, and better still when you can pay or have someone else do so (cause once you are still in their care and they don’t support it, it’s not gonna happen except Jesus comes) your money, you just leave their fragile heart out of it.

      I told my mum I was going with the doctor’s and she supported me with prayers and fasting (she still wasn’t sure, but was encouraged by my faith). MIL wanted me to visit one person known for curing abi shrinking fibroids. She didn’t want it at all. I guess she was also afraid of what could go wrong.

      Husband knew I had a mind of my own so He didn’t bother convincing me otherwise. So he just aligned himself with my stand.

      In all ladies, always PRAY, then seek MEDICAL help. Be sure to get a 2nd opinion. Then make your decision.

      IT IS WELL WITH US.

  7. ibi

    October 17, 2014 at 9:36 am

    yay…my favorite women’s clinic., great customer service!!!! UP South shore. i bless the day i goggled fibroid in Nigeria.

  8. So sorry

    October 17, 2014 at 9:43 am

    @Timmy, maybe when you are fully recovered, you can also seek a second opinion. Don’t loose hope. God is still God and will do What He says He will do.

    Here’s my story.

    I got married and after waiting for about 7 months to take in, I miscarried and the diagnosis was multiple uterine fibroid. I was devasted to say the least. Oh trust my MIL (Mother-in-law). She was already wondering if I could ever have a child. I cried my eyes out, but I prayed my heart out as well.
    Two weeks after the miscarriage, I went in for surgery. It lasted about 2hours. The doctor was amazing! But the God I served too was Unshakeable. The scan earlier showed 4, but inside they were about ELEVEN! (11). All of them were taken out!!! and I watched the whole surgery so you can imagine how my heart was racing each time the doc was describing his next move to his his team (like when the came around my ovaries, he’ll say: ” okay people, no mistakes or careful with those tubes) and talking to me at the same time. (at some point, the doc started humming some naija songs).lol

    The healing process was PAINFUL!!!!! God! I had NEVER felt such pain before. The doctor also confessed that no one he had operated on had complained of such magnitude of pain. I guess my pain threshold is ZERO.lol

    One month after, I was completely healed. Then the pressure came from in-laws who felt they knew better. That I should take in immediately so that the fibroid doesn’t grow back. hmmm (As if taking in was magic). On top all I had gone through. I just activated my IGNORE button. Had to ask my husband to warn them or have me do so.

    I took my time (well not really…lol) After 2months, I took in!!!! The pregnancy was a smooth sail. I delivered through CS cos doc didnt want to risk rupture. The healing this time was so much better.

    I have also had my 2nd baby. GOD is GOD.

    I just want to encourage you because I went through it and GOD gave me (a very bad sinner) VICTORY! HE is STILL GOD.

    • busybee

      October 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Amen to your story! You are blessed! 🙂

    • Helen S

      November 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      I am encouraged by your story. Thank you i feel better

  9. halia

    October 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

    This is great info BN. Thank you. About three years ago I adopted traditional medicine and chinese medicine into my health regimen daily.This along with other natural life style changes . The results in my femine health have been amazing in regards to seeing my body heal itself over time and find its balance. There are definitely great naturopathic alternatives or “help alongs” instead of/or with the treatments above in treating these growths. Definitely always consult your physician and by no means natraupathy or homeopathy may not be for everyone. However there are great options particulalry in the use of raw herbs. Personally, I ingest them through certain raw teas. Certain herbs specifically address liver function. Poor liver function is often seen as a root cause of uterine fibroids. Poor liver function can result in toxin build-up in the body as well as poor hormone clearance, resulting in imbalanced hormones which them manifest. These growths are symptoms of larger imbalances within and herbs and other lifestyle adjustments can be utilized towards healing. #holistichealth #nevertoolate

    • halia

      October 17, 2014 at 9:52 am

      *feminine…*then…

    • Miss Anonymous

      October 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Hello Halia, could you share some of these alternative remedies?

    • halia

      October 18, 2014 at 12:25 am

      Hello miss Anonymous, sure! I’ll put some things that have worked for me and put it together then post it. :0)

    • halia

      October 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Hello Miss Anonymous, :0) . Here below are SOME naturopathic alternative or collective lifestyle changes according to my personal health journey. The holistic natural alternatives are sourced through the practice of cleaner lifestyle to manifest towards body self-healing through natural remedies. Disclaimer: by no means am I a nutritional therapist, or physician of any kind, or expert. This is just what has worked for me towards harmonal balancing and over all feminine health.That being said you should do your personal research, confirm with your doctor when in doubt, and cultivate your remedies and lifestyle change! I’m also on Pinterest and have a board dedicated to Natural health alternatives/help alongs under honeydiphalia. Bonne chance!

    • halia

      October 18, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Some reason BN sometimes cuts part of my comment or posts my comments twice (weird stuff). so here below is what was supposed to be all in one:

      1.) Detox: We are exactly what we eat,drink, and do/don’t do. What we eat makes up our cells and tissues of our body. This includes ALL our insides including: ovaries, UTERUS, and hormones.1.) Juicing for health- Fruits and vegetables blending a smoothie daily 2.) Herbs & Natural Oils ingestion: through tea form, juicing smoothie, body massage, inhaling or bath form. Ginger root, Parsley leaves,Castor oil, flaxseed oil or flaxseed seeds, Coconut oil, turmeric, sea salt. 3.) Drinking pure Green tea (certain brands are more natural than others) but I drink a cup of green tea regularly ( I drink a Chinese brand ).How you make the tea is important too. I always boil my tea in a pot due to the fact that I include traditional herbs inside along with the above that I don’t know the English names for (sorry Lol!) Generally clean eating. Our African foods are less processed so thats too our advabtage especially if one cooks regularly. How to cook our foods “clean” per say takes practice and trail and error.

      2.) Drinking water timing consumption: the best daily cleanser is water! – I drink a gallon a day of water. We should be drinking a gallon of water a day or half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. Important to drink water at these particular times:After waking up, before each meal, before you shower, and before be. Lime inside cold water is how I like to start my day instead or my coffee (great benefits should research them). The point is to cleanse and nourish simultaneously.

      3.) Vitamin supplements are VITAL: A Multivitamin or individual supplements: zinc, fish oil, calcium, etc.

      4.) Regular exercise at least 30 min a day ( sweating it out and getting your heart rate up)

      cardio, weight traing, strength training, and a fav YOGA!

      5.) At LEAST 7 hours of sleep a night

      6.) Steaming over the sink or sauna after a workout or end of the week.

      7.) Listen to your body ( your toung, eye color, souls of your feet, urine, are great indicators)

  10. peace

    October 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

    wow !! i ve learnt alot of information out of these, i am happy about bellanaija’s blog being educating …………………… i appreciate every bit of these information because my mum has been on medication for a long time

  11. princess

    October 17, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Southshore women’s clinic is handled by professionals who passionately treat. Patients to deliver high quality services I must confess they are good very good

  12. Fresh

    October 17, 2014 at 11:43 am

    A couple of years ago, i noticed i had a protruding tummy and didnt think much of it until my sister touched me in the belly a few months later and screamed at how hard my stomach was. See, my dad died of Cancer and he didn’t notice either until he looked 5 months pregnant (apparently he was producing excessive white blood cells which caused his spleen to swell)…this got me really scared and i booked an appointment with my doctor asap.

    I was finally diagnosed with uterine fibroids and was asked to take it out immediately but i decided to trust in God and pray the darn thing out of my system – Story for the Gods it was!

    I lived with the fibroids for over 4 years until i could no longer take it. Apart from the fact that it was hella painful (esp during my menstrual cycle), i got a lot of ‘comments’ from so called ‘acquaintances’ complaining about how big my stomach was for my stature. “you need to stop eating late,’ they would say. Some even went as far as touching my tummy and asking why it was so big – people can be rude!

    I discovered a lot about myself during this period too – I noticed i hadn’t been taking enough water and i wasn’t physically active. I wouldn’t have a bowel movement for weeks and i was always constipated…i guess it all contributed to the growth. I’ve since taken out the tumours and i feel great! I drink loads of water and take my veggies and now move my bowels sometimes 2ce in one day.

    It is important to take care of our bodies and feed it healthy stuff – it doesn’t guarantee a disease free life but its a step in the right direction.

    Thanks for this BN!

  13. toyin olaleye

    October 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    it’s so funny because I just had an ultrasound this morning to check for fibroids…this was so useful to me in case they find something..but praying against it.

  14. Anon

    October 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Please share your experiences on how you got treated, i read today that Apple Cider Vinegar taken alongside Baking soda and lemo helps alot to shrink it

  15. Phoebe

    October 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Very educative post.

    Just to add to what has been said, which I think is very useful;
    – Fibroid is mostly found in women with African and Afro-Caribbean heritage.
    – Some fibroid develop after conception in pregnancy.

  16. maureen

    October 18, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Reading dis story made me cry cos I am a fibriod survivor,I was told I had fibriod @ 25,d news was devastating,I cried and my mum too,thank God for my uncle who was a doctor dt adviced surgery almost imm,a year later I had d surgery,it was easy livin witj fibriod,my bfrend den left me prolly cos he felt I won’t hv kids wen d time come,bt 2day,am healthy,dou nt married,bt I no God wil gv me kids wen am marrid and settled.Let’s kick d ugly fibroid out,go for scan,meet d rite gynea and I bet everytin wil b ok.

  17. maureen

    October 18, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Nt easy I meant to say

  18. Sarah

    October 19, 2014 at 12:53 am

    I discovered that I had fibroid when I became pregnant with my first. Then, my consultant advised not to do anything since it was not affecting me adversely. I have since had my second child, both kids through normal delivery. My tummy looks bigger than normal when full. Apart from that, it has not disturbed me in any way. My advice is to eat healthy and exercise regularly. I hope I don’t have to undergo any operation to remove it, because it is usually associated with heavy blood loss.

  19. wunmy

    October 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    This is a very good info but my case is different.
    Am a young lady and single, September last year i was Operated of Ovarian cyst with a very big size and July this year i was having the same symptoms just like last year and i went for scan only to show i have an Ovarian cyst and am scared to go for another operation. Please i need advise on what to do cause am the Only child of my mother.

  20. Liz

    October 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I am very happy with all the posts and thanks to those who dare shared their experiences and even provided us what that helped them! more greeze. The truth is that is that reading all those gave me the encouragement for the hysterectomy, still scared though! For me, I was diagnosed Jan 2013 and I also went for another scan in Jul 14, all the same! I ve no pains, regular periods of 28 days and 3 – 5days max! but i have a BIG STOMACH! What a dilemma!

  21. uju

    December 20, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks for d [email protected] BN,i was diagnosed of fibroid after two miscarriage please i need ur advice?

  22. Anie

    January 4, 2018 at 5:02 am

    Pls does anyone have an idea what it will cost to undergo Uterine Fibroid Embolisation. Just want to know if it is affordable so one can avoid the pain of open myomectomy

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