“Quite a number of people have tried to associate Fibroid in women with nutrition and fertility.
“This association is anecdotal and not well established,” a gynecologist, Dr. Adebayo Bamisebi, said on Thursday in Lagos.
Bamisebi, who is of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ibeju-Lekki General Hospital, Akodo, Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria that, however, certain foods and diets could help balance hormones that may trigger these growths.
Doctors say uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during a woman’s childbearing years.
Bamisebi said: “Every woman produces some hormones which control the female reproductive system and all the sect of the womb actually respond to these hormones.
“The muscles of the womb have their response to this, but we have often found out that some people could have an unusual growth developing from a normal cell.
“So, uterine fibroid is like a tumor and a tumor is just like a normal cell which decided to grow out of normal and fails to respond to the normal control that it should have grown.’’
According to him, uterine fibroid can affect the womb but may not directly cause a woman not to be pregnant.
He said for a woman to have fibroid and not able to be pregnant depends on the location of the tumor.
The gynecologist said sometimes, however, the tumor could be an associated cause of infertility if the fibroid is located externally on the body of the uterus and also grows externally.
“It can only cause infertility if located in areas near the tubes or scattered all over the internal parts of the womb.
“Although it is not in all situations that the fibroid is the direct cause of infertility, we also know that when a woman gets pregnant and the same person has a huge fibroid, there may be problems with the pregnancy.
“So, it depends on the size, location and other associated factors. That is why a woman who has fibroid and wants to get pregnant is normally advised that she removes it before pregnancy.”
He added: “For others, maybe because of the location, we test the tubes to know if they are normal and are not blocked in any way; such a woman when pregnant can be managed along with the fibroid.
“But if somebody has recurrent miscarriages, has uterine fibroid along with it and they are significantly large enough, such women are normally advised to remove it first before she commences any pregnancy to avoid miscarriage.’’
He urged those planning assisted reproductive technique such as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and had associated significant large fibroids, to ensure they remove it before embarking on the procedure.
According to him, if they continue on the procedure without removing it, the association can contribute to the failure of the technique itself.
Bamisebi said that not every woman had fibroid, adding that quite a sizeable number of women have fibroid in the smallest of its size and its very insignificant.
He said fibroid in some women could be as small as the size of the head of a pin, measuring less than 0.1 centimeter and could also be as large as a soccer ball and or bigger.
According to the gynecologist, the fibroid can be there and may not pose any health challenges, even to fertility.
“In the same vein, it can be very huge, associated with serious complaints of heavy bleeding, pain and other associated symptoms,” Bamisebi told NAN.