Have you heard of fibroids?
If not, don’t worry too much, you’re not the only one.
Fibroids are non-cancerous, benign muscle growth, that develop in or around a woman’s womb during her reproductive years, from as early as 16 to 50 years of age.
The growth usually develops when a woman’s oestrogen – the sex hormone that is responsible for development and regulation of the female reproductive system – levels are at their highest, then tend to shrink when oestrogen levels are low, such as after the menopause – which is when a woman monthly period stops.
Unfortunately, many women are unaware they have fibroids because there are usually no symptoms. However, women who do have symptoms of the growth may experience frequent urination, heavy bleeding, fatigue or aches and pains.
The growth can range in size, for example it could be as small as a pea or to the size of a melon, yet, the exact cause of fibroids are unknown.
It is though to be most common in Afro-Caribbean women aged 30+ and also in overweight or obese women because being overweight increases the level of oestrogen in the body.
Despite the discomfort Fibroids may bring, they are very treatable through medication or surgery, but in many cases treatment isn’t needed, especially if they aren’t causing and problems to a woman’s health, over time, fibroids will often shrink and disappear.
Read one woman’s story here.
You can learn more about Fibroids via NHS Choices.