Submucosal fibroid are uterine fibroids that develop underneath the endometrium, the uterine lining. They’re one of the most prevalent forms of fibroids, and they can affect a woman’s quality of life in a number of ways. Submucosal fibroids are the focus of this article, as we explore their background, symptoms, diagnosis, and therapeutic choices.
What are Submucosal Fibroids?
- Definition: Noncancerous (benign) submucosal fibroids originate in the myometrium, the muscular wall of the uterus, and grow into the endometrial cavity.
- Size and Location: Fibroids are benign tumors that can grow to deform the uterine cavity if left untreated. Their name, “submucosal fibroids,” refers to their location: immediately beneath the uterine lining.
- Causes: Submucosal fibroids have a complex etiology that likely involves a combination of hormonal disruptions, genetic predisposition, and elevated estrogen levels, although this is still speculation.
Symptoms of Submucosal Fibroids
- Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Heavy, prolonged, or irregular menstrual flow is a common sign of submucosal fibroids. Anemia and weariness can develop in women who endure prolonged menstruation, excessive menstrual flow, or the passage of blood clots.
- Pelvic Pain and Pressure: Pain, discomfort, and pressure in the pelvis may be caused by submucosal fibroids. Constant fullness or pressure in the pelvic area, as well as pain during sexual interplay, are symptoms that may affect women.
- Reproductive Issues: Submucosal fibroids are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy-related problems. If they are near the cervix or fallopian tubes, they can make it hard for sperm to reach the egg and cause infertility.
Diagnosis of Submucosal Fibroids
- Medical History and Physical Examination: In order to detect abnormal lumps or soreness in the pelvic area, a doctor will obtain a thorough medical history and conduct a pelvic examination.
- Imaging Tests: Fibroids in the uterus can be seen and measured by a transvaginal ultrasound, MRI, or hysterosonography.
- Hysteroscopy: To directly examine the endometrial cavity and identify submucosal fibroids, a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera (hysteroscope) is introduced via the vagina and cervix into the uterus.
Treatment Options for Submucosal Fibroids
- Medications: Submucosal fibroid can be treated with hormone drugs including progestins and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists to shrink the tumors and ease symptoms. Pain can also be treated with NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Hysteroscopic Myomectomy: Submucosal fibroid removal is a surgical treatment wherein a hysteroscopy is used to access the uterus and remove the fibroids. It is an outpatient treatment that requires minimum incisions and keeps the uterus intact for women who want to keep their reproductive options open.
- Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE): Small particles are injected into the arteries supplying the fibroids, cutting off blood flow and causing the fibroids to shrink in a non-surgical treatment.
- Endometrial Ablation: This treatment involves removing the submucosal fibroids and uterine lining with the application of heat, laser, or another means. It can help minimize menstrual bleeding and other symptoms for women who do not want to protect their fertility.
- Hysterectomy: A hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, may be recommended in extreme circumstances or when fertility is not an issue. This is the final step in treating submucosal fibroids, and it can be done via laparoscopic or abdominal surgery.
Common symptoms of submucosal fibroid, which develop beneath the uterine lining, include irregular uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, and fertility problems. Imaging exams and hysteroscopy are frequently used in diagnosis. Depending on the intensity of symptoms, the patient’s desire to preserve fertility, and other considerations, a variety of treatment options are available, including medication, hysteroscopic myomectomy, uterine artery embolization, endometrial ablation, and hysterectomy. If you are a woman having symptoms that may be related to submucosal fibroids, you should see your doctor for an evaluation and a discussion of your treatment options.