When a benign (not recurring or progressive) tumor grows in the muscles of the uterus, it is known as uterine Myoma. These tumors can grow very large, sometimes growing as large as a melon. The typical Myoma, however, is around the size of an egg. When the Myoma penetrates the entire wall of the uterus, it is referred to as uterus myomatosus. In certain very rare cases (less than 1/2 of 1% of the time) the tumors can become malignant. When this happens, it is known as sarcoma.
Symptoms of Uterine Myoma may include:
– hyper menorrhea
– lower abdominal pain
– irregular vaginal bleeding
When the Myoma pushes on the intestines or the bladder, it can result in constipation, pain of the bladder, or a constant need to urinate. If the tumor pushes on the nerves in the spinal cord, it can result in pain of the back or the legs.
The causes of uterine Myoma are not fully understood. Some research suggests that Uterine Myoma is less common in women who have had at least two children. For at least one form of uterine Myoma, there seems to be a genetic predisposition.
Uterine Myoma often goes undetected. Ultrasounds, CT Scans, or MRIs may be necessary to fully diagnose uterine Myoma. If you have symptoms of Uterine Myoma, your health care provider will help you determine the best way to diagnose the problem.
Once it is diagnosed, Uterine Myoma can be treated through hormonal and/or herbal treatments. Hormonal treatment typically do not cure the Uterine Myoma. Rather, they give a temporary relief of the symptoms of Uterine Myoma. In addition, these hormones may have certain side effects. If these hormone treatments do not work, surgery is typically an option. Surgical options include the surgical removal of the Myoma tumors (known as an enucleation) or a complete hysterectomy. Recent advances in laser surgery may make this an option also. If this is the case, the surgery can become much less invasive, and can be done laparoscopically.