By Faustina Nwanekwu
Untreated benign tumours, more often known as uterine fibroids, can harm kidneys and have an impact on blood circulation, according to consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, Professor Rosemary Ogu.
She said an enlarged fibroid poses risks to a woman’s health and can lead to kidney failure.
In an interview in Port Harcourt, Prof Ogu, head of gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, said the size of a fibroid can limit the pathway from the kidney to the urethra, resulting in obstructive uropathy,
Prof. Ogu said uterine fibroids can also restrict the large blood veins returning blood to the heart, resulting in obstructive lymphadenopathy
What are Uterine fibroids
According to Prof. Ogu, fibroids develop from the smooth muscles of the uterus, the sack that contains a baby. She emphasised that the sack contains smooth muscle fibres, which can develop beyond their usual size and form benign tumours.
There are uterine fibroids that are larger than the delivered baby, she noted, adding that there are uterine fibroids that weigh more than five kilogrammes.
Causes of Uterine Fibroids
According to Prof. Ogu, fibroids develop from the smooth muscles in the body. Prof Ogu stated that the benign tumours that produce uterine fibroids are largely induced by hormones. She highlighted that fibroid growth can be accelerated by unopposed oestrogen activity.
Furthermore, she stated that a misunderstanding in the body that impedes apoptosis, a process by which the body kills undesired cells, can enable smooth muscle fibres to develop. beyond the certain way.
Quashing the Myths
She debunked the notion that contraceptive usage causes benign tumours to grow in size. Prof Ogu stated that “Fibroids grow in almost every woman” and that contraception overuse is not a problem.
She expressed concern, saying, “Sometimes we say that the womb is made to carry a baby, and when a baby isn’t there, fibroids can grow.”
Prof Ogu also refuted the myth that if conception does not occur after surgery, the woman’s chances of becoming pregnant are limited.
When people come to remove the uterine fibroid, it indicates that the person wishes to have another child. She said, “We encourage the woman to go and get pregnant,” she stated. Now, if the woman does not become pregnant for any reason, say one year, two years, or three years, a fibroid can grow again, but it does not indicate the woman cannot become pregnant again if she tries.” she added.
Prof. Ogu emphasised that unpopular beliefs regarding the use of herbs to cure uterine problems are false and that plants cannot treat fibroid.
“To say you’re drinking something or eating something and the fibroids will go, No, my sister, fibroids don’t go like that,” she said.
The obstetrician stressed that the only definitive treatment for fibroid is removal with a scalpel, surgery, or the innovation, of highly focused ultrasound rings, also known as HIFU.
Prof Ogu added that “while there are exceptions to surgery for premenopausal women because benign tumours shrink on their own as menstruation stops, for women in their 20s and 30s, drinking something to shrink the fibre is counterproductive because it is not the definitive treatment because the fibroids will regrow”
Who are exposed to Fibroids
Fibroids are most common between the ages of 18 and 45, she says, adding that women of reproductive age, women who are capable of bearing a pregnancy, are more likely to have uterine fibroids.
New invention in treating Uterine Fibroids
Prof. Ogu stated that high-intensity focused ultrasound, a noninvasive treatment for fibroid, is the safest treatment for fibroid since it is fibroid surgery without a knife.
“There’s no incision, so you don’t bleed,” she explained. The rays are responsible for the death of Fibroid cells. The focused ultrasonic rays damage the Fibroid cells, which die and diminish over time.
She went on to say that, unlike HIFU, you don’t bleed. The issue with having a fibroid surgically removed is the bleeding. Adding that most people who undergo fibroid surgery bleed profusely, and some do not survive the procedure.