Often, women who experience heavy menstrual periods during that time of the month tend to ignore this or think it’s okay. However, sometimes heavy menstrual periods could be a sign of uterine fibroids, doctors warn.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the womb that sometimes cause heavy menstrual periods, urinary problems and abdominal swellings.
Uterine fibroids can also be defined as are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during one’s childbearing years. Uterine fibroids are not associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer, according to Mayo Clinic.
Dr Tekle G. Egiziabher, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Rwanda Military Hospital, said some of the common symptoms of fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding at times with blood clots or menstrual periods that last longer than usual.
“Whenever you experience heavy, profuse and prolonged menstrual periods, then you have to see your gynaecologist to rule out if they are being caused by fibroids. Once he or she rules out that they are fibroids, then usually the treatment is an operation,” he said.
Prolonged menstrual periods can go for seven days or more according to the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms may include pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination, difficulty emptying your bladder, backache or leg pains and constipation among others.
Fibroids tend to swell when levels of oestrogen are high for instance during pregnancy and they also shrink when oestrogen levels are low, especially during menopause, according to the gynaecologist.
They can be treated through carrying out an operation although they can grow again unless they are completely removed from the uterus, he adds.
In order to completely get rid of them, one can opt for the Hysterectomy surgery which requires removal of the womb. Once the womb is removed, then it means one can’t give birth anymore so this option is for people who are no longer interested in giving birth to children or have hit menopause.
When to visit a gynecologist
Once you get severe bleeding or sudden sharp pelvic pain then you should see your gynaecologist, according to Dr Taekle.
“Once your menstrual periods aren’t just heavy but very painful as well accompanied by bleeding between periods or spotting, then you should see a specialist.”
Whenever your periods are heavy, prolonged and painful, don’t ignore the situation but visit a gynaecologist to find treatment early enough.