Fibroids degeneration occurs when fibroids overgrow their blood supply and slowly die afterwards. In a way, fibroids degeneration can be seen as natural uterine artery embolization. These degenerative changes of the fibroids tissue are common consequence of the rapid growth, pregnancy, trauma, and postmenopausal atrophy.
So, let’s see what types of fibroids degeneration exist and why it is important for you to be informed about them!
- Hyaline Fibroids Degeneration
Hyaline degeneration is the most common type of fibroids degeneration that can occur in 60% of all fibroids cases. The most common change observed in fibroids that are undergoing this type of degeneration is replacement of the fibrous and muscle fibroid tissues with the hyaline tissue (type of connective tissue). Gradual decrease in the blood supply to the fibroids can cause this type of fibroids degeneration.
Although, hyaline fibroids degeneration is without symptoms, it can cause central necrosis (death of the cells and tissues) and leave cystic spaces at the center. In this way, cystic fibroids degeneration starts. The other consequence of the hyaline degeneration is slow calcification of the fibroids.
- Cystic Fibroids Degeneration
Cystic degeneration is not so common type of fibroids degeneration; it affects only 4% of all fibroids and usually occurs after menopause. As already mentioned, hyaline degeneration often precedes cystic degeneration.
Decreased blood supply to the fibroids may influence liquefaction of hyalinized areas that are seen as cystic changes on the ultrasound. They resemble “honeycomb pattern”, and sometimes can be misleading, especially with the submucous type of fibroids. They are often misdiagnosed as other gestational abnormalities, such as missed abortion, blighted ovum, and hydatidiform mole.
- Myxoid Fibroids Degeneration
This type of fibroids degeneration is not as common, though some doctors think that myxoid degeneration is present in, as much as, 50% of all fibroids.
- Red (carneous) Fibroids Degeneration
This type of fibroids degeneration is common during pregnancy or after pregnancy. It is a well-known complication especially during pregnancy. Red degeneration occurs in 8% of fibroids complicating pregnancy, although the prevalence is about 3% of all uterine leiomyoma.
Red fibroids degeneration is the hemorrhagic infraction of uterine fibroids. The exact mechanism of red degeneration is not completely understood, but scientists believe that it begins with the venous obstruction at the periphery of the lesion, which leads to hemorrhagic infarction and extensive necrosis that involves the entire lesion.
Red fibroids degeneration affects half of the fibroids during pregnancy; it’s quite common. Fibroids during pregnancy have the tendency to rapidly grow, because of the higher levels of estrogen. They soon overgrow their blood supply and start to decay.
The symptoms characteristic for the red fibroids degeneration may include abdominal pain, tenderness localized to the uterus associated with mild pyrexia and increased white blood cells count (leukocytosis). If you are pregnant with fibroids and experiencing some of those symptoms, don’t worry; they are resoled over a few days and any treatment is rarely necessary.
Now, you know what types of fibroids degeneration are there, when each of them occurs, and what symptoms are characteristic for each type. When fibroids degeneration starts to happen, there is rarely no reason for concern. Usually it is excellent sign that your fibroids will go away for good!
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