Alvine Kapitako Windhoek-The record number of fibroids that gynaecologist Dr Matti Kimberg had to remove from the uterus of a woman was 104. “The basin was full. I don’t know if it’s a world record, but that was my record,” he says. Gynaecology is the medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive systems (vagina, uterus, and ovaries) and the breasts. Outside medicine, the term means “the science of women”. Kimberg explained that there are single and multiple fibroids, adding that the average fibroids removed from a woman’s womb typically ranges from between three to five. It is not uncommon to remove 30 fibroids from a woman’s uterus, he explained. According to UCLA Health, fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, leiomyomas, or fibromas are firm, compact tumours that are made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that develop in the uterus. Kimberg explained that fibroids are benign – meaning they are non-cancerous tumours. “They are very common in African races and they double in size every two years,” explained Kimberg. Likewise, Kimberg attends to many patients who suffer from fibroids. “It’s very common here. We see a lot of patients with fibroids. Sometimes they are not aware they have fibroids,” he explained, saying that it is detected with an ultrasound. Equally, he noted there are many cases of “neglected fibroids” in woman that he attends to from neighbouring countries, such as Angola. “You’d find a woman with an enormous uterus as big as a full term pregnancy. You’d actually think the woman is about to deliver a baby just to realise when you examine her that it’s fibroids,” he said. Symptoms of fibroids may include heavy bleeding during periods, pressure on the bladder and pain which may become unbearable, explained Kimberg. As the fibroids increase in size they take up space in the woman’s womb and the only sure way to remove them is by surgery. In severe cases, the woman’s womb (hysterectomy) may be removed if she does not want to have any more children, stated the gynaecologist. Oftentimes, however, the women still want to have children and so only the fibroids are removed, explained Kimberg. He said there is no known way of preventing fibroids. “We don’t know what causes them,” he added. Also, rarely do fibroids become cancerous, he added. However, they are known to cause infertility in some women, Kimberg noted. This amongst others happens when the fibroids block the fallopian tube(s), making it difficult for the sperm and fertilised egg to pass, he explained. According to the UCLA Health website, it is estimated that between 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed. Some estimates state that up to 30 to 77 percent of women will develop fibroids sometime during their childbearing years, although only about one-third of these fibroids are large enough to be detected by a healthcare provider during a physical examination. Kimberg stressed that women should regularly go for checkups “to check if everything is fine and for the general condition of the female organs”.
2017-09-11 09:33:18 1 years ago