Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) overgrowths of fibrous and smooth muscle tissue of the womb. They are very common in women of reproductive age and rarely cancerous. Most women with fibroids are asymptomatic but some may have heavy menstrual bleeding, cramps or abdominal discomfort. Treatment options include observation, medication for symptom control or surgery.
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissues that line the inside of the womb (endometrium) are found outside the womb, in muscle layer of the womb (adenomyosis), ovary, bladder and bowel. Women may present with heavy and sometimes irregular periods, painful periods, pain during intercourse and lower abdominal pain in between periods. Endometriosis may also affect a woman’s ability to conceive. Treatment depends on symptoms and may involve observation, medication or surgery depending on its severity
Ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacs. Most ovarian cysts are benign (non-cancerous) but some are cancerous, or may become cancerous over time. Ovarian cysts can vary in size – from less than the size of a pea to the size of a large orange (sometimes even larger). They may be related to a woman’s periods (functional) or may be pathological. Most ovarian cysts are asymptomatic (especially functional cysts). However some ovarian cysts may cause problems such as abdominal swelling, pelvic pain (constant or intermittent), pain during intercourse, irregular or heavy periods. Sometimes a cyst may bleed into itself, burst or twist (torsion). This can cause a sudden severe pain in the lower abdomen. Treatment depends on symptoms, size and nature of the cyst and may involve observation, medication or surgery.
- Abnormal bleeding can occur when the menstrual period is not regular, when bleeding lasts longer than normal, is heavier than normal, or when bleeding patterns change. Abnormal bleeding may be due to fibroids, polyps, abnormal lining of the womb, foreign body (IUCD), hormonal imbalance or cancer of the womb.
- Investigations include hormonal profile, ultrasound scan, hysteroscopy and biopsy of the lining of the womb. Treatment depends on the abnormality detected and the options are hormonal treatment, hysteroscopic resection/ablation and hysterectomy.