Fibroids: Causes, Symptoms, Management/Treatment


Wait! after looking for a child for 3years now, you’re telling me that this pregnancy my wife has carried for almost 1year is not a child

You must be the joker of the century nwanne, even my daddy in the Lord, the prophet said its a child. In fact, I’m leaving…

What are you even saying young man, Odogwu continued, I married Ngozi a virgin and she’s barely 23, where in Amadiohas name is the “Fibroid” coming from, a visibly frustrated Odogwu lamented!

Doc: Odogwu, just calm down, can we just talk about “FIBROID”

Table of content


They are growths in the womb of a woman. Medically, it is known as Uterine Leiomyoma.

It varies in sizes. It can be as small as a bean seed, or as big as a water melon. Sometimes, they can be mistaken for pregnancy.
It’s non-cancerous, that is, it does not lead to cancer.
It is usually seen commonly during the child bearing age of the woman’s life (between 20-45).

Fibroids in a Uterus, Seen in Pathology.

Symptoms (How do I identify Fibroids)?

Symptoms of fibroid depends on the size. Some women may have it & yet show no symptoms, while others, especially those with larger fibroids may show symptoms like:

  1. Heavy of painful flow: Try to notice if the amount of blood you lose during your menses has increased, and also if you start having pains during your menses that you don’t usually have before. Read more on Heavy Menstrual bleeding here
  2. Bleeding between periods: some women start noticing bleeding, just a few days or a weeks after a period just passed. It might last for a short time or even days.
  3. Period lasting more than 1week: For some persons, this bleeding continues, and if no intervention is done, they could bleed to death.
  4. Difficulty urinating: you have to strain a lot to pee.
  5. Pain during sex: This is known as dyspareunia. read about painful sex here.
  6. Constipation: due to pressure caused by fibroid on the rectum, you may have problem defecating.
  7. Abdominal pain

What are the things that Cause FIBROID?

The causes are not very clear yet. The following play a part in its development:

  1. Hormones: There are some things in the body of a woman called Estrogen and progesterone. They are usually produced in different amount during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
    Estrogen makes a woman a woman, while progesterone helps in pregnancy.
    Fibroids thrives on Estrogen. Its like a food that it eats. Hence, that’s why the fibroids shrink after menopause, because there is decrease to absence of these hormones.
  2. Genes: this is more complex, so we won’t explain it here. Just know that if anyone in your family had it, you have a chance of having it.

Things that can make you have FIBROID?

  1. Hereditary: like we said before, If your mother or sister has/had fibroid, you might develop it.
  2. Obesity: It encourages it to grow.
  3. Early Menstruation: girls that started menstruating early have an increased risk of having fibroid. This is because they have early exposure to increased amount of Estrogen.
  4. Excessive alcohol intake increases chance of having it.
  5. Diet high in red meat and low in vegetable and fruits increases risk.

Does Fibroid cause Infertility?

On their own, they do not cause Infertility. A woman can have fibroids & still conceive.
You should first check for any other causes of Infertility before you think of it as the cause.

Does Fibroid Affect Pregnancy?

Fibroid usually don’t interfere with pregnancy and can even co-exist with pregnancy depending on the size and where in the womb that it is located.
However, certain sizes & location can cause complications of pregnancy like Placenta Praevia (abnormally located) and lead to miscarriage. It can also cause difficulties in child birth.

What do I do If I have Fibroid?

If you suspect of having any of its symptoms above, it is very important that you book an appointment with your doctor, especially your gynaecologist. He/she would examine you, and depending on the Size, location & complications, you would be told on the best way to handle the case.
Large growths, or one that is affecting conception (implantations), can be removed through surgery.

Odogwu’s wife would be needing surgery because of the size of the tumor but not all types requires surgery.

Please, ensure that the surgery if necessary is carried out at a competent centre. We recommend a teaching hospital where different teams would be involved.

Is there any complication from Surgery?

Every surgery has its complication from anaesthesia to healing. We cannot begin to list them here, but the important complication you must know about surgeries for fibroid, especially for women who still want to have children is that, during the attempt to remove the tumor (Myomectomy), your whole womb might be removed if there is too much bleeding, in order to save your life (Hysterectomy).

Your doctor would enlighten you more before the surgery.

Please say NO to herbal drugs that has been proposed to shrink and make you shit out FIBROID.
They only cause you to delay & thereby making the tumor to increase in size. That is aside from the damage they would do to your liver.

See Your Doctor



  • Dr. Echibuogu Nelson Tochukwu currently works as a medical officer at Prince Of Peace Specialist Hospital in Lagos. He holds an MBBS Degree from the Abia State University. He is a story teller, script writer and a lover of sport. You can follow him on twitter below.

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