Firm and rubbery growths in the uterus are called fibroids or leiomyomas. These are normal uterine cells that have been triggered to divide faster than the other cells. Most of these fibroid cells have altered genetic contents. Like most tissues, fibroids have their own blood supply for nourishment. These fibroids can form anywhere in the uterus. The inner cavity, outer surface or within the uterine muscle wall are the most common sites of fibroid growths. Some fibroids are pedunculated, meaning, are attached to the uterus with a stalk-like structure.
Common signs and symptoms of fibroids include menstrual problems like heavy and prolonged menstrual flow. Due to the growing fibroid, the lower abdomen becomes enlarged. There are also reports of feeling of fullness in the abdomen. The fibroid may be large enough to put pressure on adjacent organs. The urinary bladder may be pressed upon, resulting to frequency of urination. There may be sensation of rectal pressure as the fibroid enlarges. Constipation can result from the constriction of the rectum due to the weight of the fibroid. Fibroids can also cause pain.
Fibroid pain and pregnancy is one of the concerns that need to be monitored. Normally, fibroids do not harm the growing fetus and the mother. Complications can occur but rarely. If a pregnant woman does have fibroids, regular monitoring is required as a precautionary measure. Fibroid pain and pregnancy is occasionally described to be present over the lower abdomen, the pelvic area and at the back. Pain may also be felt in the legs and lower back from the compression of the spinal nerves.
Fibroids are commonly diagnosed through ultrasound during prenatal check up. It generally does not cause any problems in the pregnant woman. Fibroid pain and pregnancy might occur at any time. This might not necessarily be a problem, unless it becomes severe. Fibroid pain and pregnancy is mainly due to two reasons. One, the fibroid may have twisted and cuts off its blood supply. This is especially true for fibroids that have stalks. The torsion or twisting of the fibroid at the stalk constricts the blood vessels that supply it. The cells die and the fibroid shrinks.
Prostaglandin is released from the damaged cells. The resulting pain is acute and intense. Two, the fibroids could have used up all its blood supply. The cells rapidly grow and the fibroid enlarges. The fibroid tissue uses up all its blood supply and the fibroid cells die in the absence of nutrients and oxygen. This phenomenon is also termed as “red degeneration”. The blood supply to the fibroid becomes disrupted. There is bleeding into the fibroid mass. Sharp and severe pain is experienced. Fever and vomiting are also observed when red degeneration occurs.
Fibroid pain and pregnancy is usually uncomplicated. It is generally self-limiting and does not require aggressive treatment. Mild pain killers can be given to the mother to decrease the discomfort. The usual pain killers given include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These should be used with caution in pregnancy. Long term use of NSAIDs during pregnancy is associated with fetal anomalies and bleeding problems. Analgesics are given for fever, if present. The pregnant woman is also put on bed rest. The mother is advised to increase her hydration status to avoid any circulatory complications. In the event that large fibroids undergo red degeneration, complications may arise. This case may prompt surgical intervention. The large fibroid may need to be removed. The baby may need to be delivered via caesarean section. However, removal of the fibroid at the same time as caesarean delivery increases the risk for hemorrhage. This case rarely happens, however.
Fibroid Pain and Pregnancy - Is This Dangerous
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