A Gynaecologist at the Eden Family Hospital, Dr Andre Kwasi-Kumah, has dispelled the notion that fibroid is caused by sexual intercourse.
The disease, he explained, had nothing to do with sexual intercourse either at an early or advanced age and debunked the notion that it is also caused by contraceptive or the type of food people ate.
Dr Kwasi-Kumah, who was speaking in an interview with The Mirror, said fibroid was a type of harmless tumour that affected the uterus of the womb, and like a lot of tumours, their cause could not be determined.
Reacting to the myth surrounding red meat and fibroid, the gynaecologist explained that there was a very weak link between red meat and fibroid, as established by ongoing research, but that had not been confirmed as the cause of the disease.
“What people must know is that it runs through the family, a mother may have it, a sister may have it, a daughter may have it and an aunty as well. That is why we believe it’s a genetic link,” he stated.
“As it stands now, we cannot tell the cause of fibroid, however, we know it has genetic links because it turns to be more common with women of African descent than caucasian or it is in more of black women than white women,” he added.
Dr Kwasi-Kumah explained that fibroids had some symptoms that were equally common with other illnesses but one of the peculiar signs of it was heavy menstrual flow with clots.
According to him, the disease could also be identified with painful menses, abdomen increasing in size, body fat, lower back and waist pains, as well as some feeling of abnormal movement in the lower abdomen.
“So when the symptoms come, it is up to the sufferer to go to the hospital. Sometimes the disease is discovered accidentally during ultrasound scan. Some may have it and may not know because some fibroids are very small and may not cause problems. They might have it but probably a mild one” he pointed out.
Caution to women
Dr Kwasi-Kumah urged women, especially those who were yet to start a family and had been diagnosed with fibroid to do away with fear and visit the hospital regularly as it could affect fertility.
The gynaecologist advised women to seek medical attention as against the practice of depending on religion for the treatment of fibroid to avoid complications associated with the disease.
He said, “nothing stops you from praying and at the same time going to the hospital, when you don’t go to the hospital and you keep moving from one pastor to another by the time you realise, the fibroid may be getting bigger without you knowing”.
According to him, there were all kinds of tea on the market that people claimed could eliminate all types and sizes of fibroids naturally and safely.
“When the fibroid is small, in some western countries, there is some medication they give to prevent it from growing, however, those medications have a lot of side effects so doctors don’t normally use it. Besides, l have not come across any of these products that are proven to work,” he noted.
Dr Kwasi-Kumah said there were two main ways of treating fibroids and mentioned surgery as the most effective in dealing with the disease.
He said patients would have to consider a lot of issues before they decide on the surgery, for example, “if it is causing problems like infertility then surgical procedure is the best option, but if it’s not causing any trouble, then doctors will only observe it until the woman gets to menopause”.
“Naturally, fibroids feed on hormones so, in menopause, the female hormones go down so logically, the fibroid too will shrink so if it’s not causing any problem, we will just watch it till the woman gets to menopause and that will be the end,” he explained.