Fibroids or leiomyomas are benign and noncancerous tumors that grow inside or on the outer wall of the uterus. Up to 80% of women can develop fibroids by the age of 50. Signs of fibroids breaking down are apparent too, and you can not miss them if developed.
To narrow it down, fibroid degeneration is the malfunction of a fibroid through cell death caused by a lack of adequate blood supply or ischemia in the fibroid. Usually, it happens when the fibroid grows too large for its blood supply, and it can also occur because of blockage of the feeder arteries.
Another major cause of developing fibroids is pregnancy. The growth of the baby blocks the blood supply or twists the tubes that eventually cut off any blood supply.
Types of Degenerating Fibroids
Signs of fibroids breaking down are influenced by their type. The type of degeneration depends entirely on the extent of insufficient blood supply. Following are the types of degenerating fibroids:
1- Hyaline Degeneration
- It is accountable for 63% of cases.
- It is caused when the fibroid outgrows its blood supply.
- The fibroid's muscle tissues are replaced by hyaline tissues, the cartilage that has a glossy and smooth appearance.
2- Myxoid Degeneration
- It is accountable for 19% of cases.
- It has a gelatinous appearance when looked at under a microscope.
- Its connective tissue is clear and has a mucus-like texture.
- It can have similar features as leiomyosarcomas, a rare cancer cell.
3- Cystic Degeneration
- It is accountable for 4% of cases.
- Common after menopause.
- It has a liquid honeycomb pattern under the microscope.
- It is accountable for 8% of cases.
- A dying fibroid develops calcium deposits.
- Often transforms some tissue into a hard mass.
Common Signs of Fibroids Breaking Down
Following are the most commonly found signs of fibroids breaking down that you can easily point out:
1- Longer Menstrual Cycle
Having a menstrual cycle for longer than 7 days is the most common symptom. If you notice that your cycle is elongating every month, then you should get examined by your physician.
2- Frequent Menstrual Periods
Having multiple cycles in a month is an alarming thing and not normal at all. If you are getting more than one cycle of periods in less than 21 days, then visit your doctor without any delay.
3- Heavier Bleeding
It can be a sign if you get heavier bleeding than usual, and it stays persistent for multiple cycles. Thus, it would be best if you got yourself examined.
4- Unbearable Pain during Menstrual Cycle
Having an extremely painful menstrual cycle is not normal. If you are experiencing unbearable pain, you should visit your doctor as it may be a sign of something serious.
5- Irregular Bleeding
Your menstrual cycle should be regular and smooth. If your bleeding is irregular, you should get it checked as it may be an underlying cause of developing uterus issues.
6- Pelvic Pain
If you frequently feel pain in your pelvic that increases with time, it is a sign for you to see your doctor. Pelvic pain is not common other than the menstrual cycle, so if you are experiencing it randomly, it means you need to get examined.
7- Sudden and Severe Abdominal Pain
Like pelvic pain, sudden and severe abdominal pain is one of the signs of fibroids breaking down. Thus, if you encounter such discomfort, go to your doctor right away.
8- Random Bloating and Cramping
Getting bloated and feeling cramps other than your menstrual cycle is not normal. If you continuously encounter it, you should see your physician and tell them your problem.
9- Urinary Incontinence
It is the sudden loss of bladder control. If you ever encounter such a situation, it can be due to Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). However, in some cases, it is one of the signs of fibroids breaking down. Therefore, if you ever lose control of your bladder, visit your doctor ASAP.
10- Rectal Pressure
Experiencing constant pressure in the rectum, difficulty in bowel movements, constipation, and diarrhea are signs of fibroids breaking down. However, these are also signs of some other common illnesses. Therefore, the best thing is to visit your doctor and tell them all your symptoms as they can give you a better diagnosis and prevention.
Prevention of Degenerating Fibroids
The best way is to treat fibroids before they begin the degeneration process. You will also have to take necessary measures to avoid recurring breakdowns.
It can be treated with either medications or surgeries. Only the worst cases need to be operated on, but normal level degeneration is easily managed with proper medications. Following medicines are used for preventing the signs of fibroids breaking down:
- Tranexamic Acid (TXA)
- Progestin Pills
Some standard medical procedures are:
- Uterine Fibroid Embolzation
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Endometrial Ablation
There are multiple signs of fibroids breaking down that are common with some other diseases too. Therefore, if you ever encounter them, you should go to the doctor as they can help you better in the diagnosis and treatment.
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If you want more information about fibroid degeneration, book your appointment with the best gynecologists in Karachi through Marham.