Fibroids are abnormal growths on or in a woman’s uterus. It can grow into the wall, protrude into the uterus or project out from the outer surface of the uterus, as either a single outgrowth or a bunch. They are non-cancerous in almost all the cases. This benign growth is seen in women above the age of 35 years (and before menopause). The growth may be gradual or rapid. They vary in size from that of a seedling to that of a football. Some fibroids appear during pregnancy and then disappear afterwards.

The exact cause of fibroids is unknown; however research has indicated that it could be due to genetic changes, hormonal issues and or growth factors.

Many women do not complain of any symptoms associated with fibroids. Some have minor symptoms, while others may go through a more distressing time. The size, location and number of growths direct what you may or may not feel. Here is what you can expect:

  • Abnormal bleeding: heavy or excessive bleeding during menstrual period

  • Bleeding between periods

  • Severe cramps during periods

  • Sharp pelvic pain

  • Feeling of heaviness in the lower belly

  • Frequent urination

  • Constipation

  • Lower back pain and leg pains

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

  • Reproductive problems: Infertility, multiple miscarriages or early labour.​

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, consult a doctor. Make an appointment with one of our gynaecologists in the Women’s Health Care Service Line​ at The Aga Khan University Hospital.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here​ are some tips to help get you started.

Your doctor will take a full medical history followed by a physical examination to assess the uterus. The following tests may be ordered:

  • Blood test to check for anaemia, thyroid and or bleeding disorders.

  • Ultrasound imaging to confirm the presence and location of fibroids. ​

In most circumstances, fibroids do not require treatment. Your doctor may suggest ‘watchful waiting’ if you are having mild or no complaints which means simply keeping an eye on it through routine examinations and regular ultrasounds.  If treatment is necessary, your doctor can recommend non-surgical or surgical options.

Non-surgical options include oral medications (birth control pills, anti-inflammatory) may be advised for pain and heavy bleeding. Hormonal preparations and anti-hormonal agents work by decreasing the size of the growth. Consequent disorders such as anaemia might also indicate a prescription of vitamins and iron supplements.

Certain situations warrant surgery. The types of surgery performed include:

  • Myomectomy: remove the fibroids while leaving the uterus in place.

  • Hysterectomy: remove the entire uterus including the fibroids.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.