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Women need not undergo hysterectomy. Operation your doctor may not know

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 2nd, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fibroids are a painful condition that many women face during their child-bearing years. They make the patient uncomfortable and create heavy periods. For those women who suffer chronic pain from fibroids, hysterectomy is often the only option offered by doctors. Now - a new procedure can remove the fibroids while leaving the reproductive organs intact. The issue: Many doctors are still unaware of the operation.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The process is called, myomectomy. The procedure is still a major operation, but many women are able to keep their womb afterwards. Myomectomy is not a new procedure. Doctors say that many women with large or multiple fibroids are not being considered for it and, as a result, are being denied the chance of motherhood.

Around 40 percent of women develop fibroids, most often between the ages of 30 and 50. The cause is unknown, but they are linked to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are at their highest levels during a woman's reproductive years. It must be noted that after the menopause, fibroids often shrink and symptoms either ease or disappear.

In 50 percent of women who have them, fibroids do not cause symptoms. They may shrink and disappear without treatment. The other 50 percent however experience pelvic pain from the pressure caused by the fibroids and heavy and/or extended periods.

The stomach may look distended or bloated. While medication can treat symptoms such as heavy periods, it tends to be less effective with larger fibroids. Uterine artery remobilization blocks the blood supply to fibroids, making them shrink.

There is little known about its effect on fertility, so caution is advised in women who want children.

Myomectomy involves cutting the fibroids out of the womb wall.

Mayonda says that when younger women are told by their doctors that their only option is a hysterectomy and that it deters them from having any treatment.

"They stay clear of the healthcare profession and return only when they are no longer able to cope with their symptoms because the fibroids have grown even bigger or multiplied, making treatment more complex and challenging.

"Most fibroids, even large, multiple ones, can be treated by myomectomy."

Fibroids are distinguished by  heavy or painful periods, abdominal pain as well as discomfort in the lower back and legs, frequent urination and constipation, caused by fibroids pressing on internal organs and pain or discomfort while making love.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)