Fibroids can grow very large, ranging from the size of a peanut to a fruit. Their sizes are varied because of the nourishment they get from the blood vessels in the uterus. The size is normally said to be dependent on the level of estrogen secreted. Fibroids hence do not have a consistent size. They fluctuate, and these changes are affected by the menstrual cycle. When the fibroid attains a full-grown stage and there is no space or chance to grow further then it is likely to cause some adverse effects. Fibroids degenerate on their own after their maximum size has been reached. Below are factors that may cause fibroid degeneration.
When does fibroid degeneration occur?
Fibroid degeneration can occur only when the fibroid grows to a certain limit, at which it cannot grow further. At this stage, the fibroid can no longer get further nourishment. Fibroids get oxygen from the blood vessels to which they are connected. If the oxygen supply to the fibroids is blocked, the only thing that can happen is a cessation of growth. When there is a lack of oxygen, the fibroids fail to thrive, and this causes intense pain to the affected woman.
As fibroid cells die, they are substituted with collagen – that substance found on the tip of the nose, the ears, and the joints. This is known as hyaline degeneration, and the pain that accompanies this process lasts 2 to 4 weeks.
What are the symptoms experienced?
Fibroid degeneration is said to cause intense pain. This pain in the region of the pelvis becomes unbearable and surely needs some kind of cure to get relief from it. Degeneration of the fibroids can cause several effects. Pain, pressure, vaginal bleeding, and heavy menstrual periods are the familiar symptoms experienced during the degenerative phase of fibroids. Vaginal bleeding can be extremely dangerous during pregnancy. The patient should immediately consult her obstetrician-gynecologist about this problem.
Fibroid degeneration during pregnancy:
Degeneration of the fibroids during pregnancy, aside from causing severe pain, may also cause complications of childbirth. Ultrasound examinations can be utilized to show the condition of the fibroids. It takes a pelvic examination to uncover the presence of a degenerating fibroid.
This condition of having fibroids during pregnancy is called necrobiosis. The pain caused by degenerating fibroids can last up to two weeks. These dying fibroids may affect the white blood cells, causing fever.
Treatment for degenerating fibroids:
Treatment for degenerating fibroids is essential when it causes severe pain. For sudden-onset pain, it is usually self-limiting, and can be managed with anti-inflammatory medication. However, pain that lasts longer has to be treated differently.
The most commonly done treatments against degenerating fibroids are surgery and hysterectomy. These treatments are considered to be invasive and so they cannot be prescribed when a woman is pregnant. Myomectomy is what most doctors prescribe for the removal of degenerating fibroids but they too do not guarantee the absence of side effects. In summary, it can be said that treatment for degenerating fibroids is not possible during pregnancy. It is better to take care of this problem during the early stages.