Just last month, FKA Twigs revealed to her Instagram followers the decision to remove six fibroid tumours from her uterus last year. In serious cases, the tumours grow up to the size of "2 cooking apples 🍎 🍎, 3 kiwis 🥝 🥝 🥝 and a couple of 🍓🍓 [strawberries]", FKA Twigs shared. "A fruit bowl of pain everyday," she wrote in her Instagram post. "The nurse said that the weight and size was like being 6 months pregnant."
It sounds scary, but almost all uterine fibroids do not develop into cancer. Got that weight off your shoulders? Okay. Uterine fibroids are growths in the walls of the uterus, most commonly found in women during childbearing years. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years.
Beverly Johnson, the first African American model to front the cover of Vogue magazine, has talked about her options battling uterine fibroids in the 80s, which, honestly isn't wide: "I wish I had been braver and smarter when it came to dealing with fibroids. There are other options out there for women," Beverly stressed, after opting to go with hysterectomy, which resulted in her body being pushed into early menopause with complications. "It is important to investigate them.” American TV personality Bethenny Frankel has mentioned her suffering battle with uterine fibroids - constant pain and bleeding for months on end - and she has admitted it may be one of the reasons she suffered her 2012 miscarriage. She decided to undergo treatment soon after. In 2016, singer Sara Bareilles shared her personal recovery journey on Instagram when she opted for surgery to remove a uterine fibroid.
It is known as the most common non-cancerous growths in the female reproductive tract. More than 70 percent of women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in their lives, when 25 percent will have noticeable symptoms of fibroids. We seek out expert opinion from Dr Lim Lei Jun, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist.
What are the types of treatments available for uterine fibroids in Malaysia?
Not every fibroid requires treatment. If you have fibroids but do not have any symptoms, you may not need treatment. Your doctor will check during your regular follow up to see if they have grown.
If you have fibroids and have mild symptoms, your doctor may suggest taking medication. Over-the-counter drugs such as Mefenemic acid or Acetaminophen can be used for mild pain. If you have heavy bleeding during your period, taking an iron supplement can keep you from getting anemia or correct it if you already are anemic.
Several drugs commonly used for birth control can be prescribed to help control symptoms of fibroids. Low-dose birth control pills do not make fibroids grow and can help control heavy bleeding. The same is true of progesterone-like injections such as medroxyprogesterone acetate. An intrauterine system which contains a small amount of levonorgestrel, a progesterone-like medication, can be used to control heavy bleeding as well as for birth control.
Other drugs used to treat fibroids are “gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists” (GnRHa), such as Leuprolide acetate or Triptorelin. These drugs, given by injection, can shrink your fibroids. Sometimes they are used before surgery to make fibroids easier to remove. Side effects of GnRHas can include hot flashes, depression, not being able to sleep, decreased sex drive, and joint pain. Most women tolerate GnRHas quite well. Most women do not get a period when taking GnRHas. This can be a big relief to women who have heavy bleeding. It also allows women with anemia to recover to a normal blood count. GnRHas can cause bone thinning, so their use is generally limited to six months or less. These drugs also are very expensive, and some insurance companies will cover only some or none of the cost. GnRHas offer temporary relief from the symptoms of fibroids; once you stop taking the drugs, the fibroids often grow back quickly.
In 2012, oral medication Ulipristal acetate which is a selective progestogen receptor modulator has been authorised for intermittent or pre-operative treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of uterine fibroids in women of reproductive age. Each treatment course of 5mg daily lasts for 3 months and maybe repeated with breaks between each course. This is the first oral medication licensed specifically at treating fibroids. (However, patients who are on treatment are required to monitor the liver functions through blood test at regular interval.)