What are Uterine Fibroids?

 In Other Conditions

Uterine fibroid (leiomyomas or myomas) are benign (non-cancerous) growths of muscle that develop in the uterus wall.

Why does it happen?

  1. Genetic changes in uterine muscle cells
  2. Hormonal changes and cellular growth factors

What are possible symptoms?

  1. Constipation
  2. Pain/pressure in the abdomen
  3. Heavy periods and/or spotting between periods
  4. Frequent urination
  5. Difficulty getting pregnant
  6. Back ache
  7. Pelvic pain

Who is at risk for developing uterine fibroids?

    1. Women with a family history of fibroids
    2. African Americans

Environmental risks:

  1. Women who started menstruation early and/or use birth control
  2. Obesity
  3. Low vitamin D
  4. Diets high in red meat and low in fruit/dairy/green vegetables
  5. Alcohol consumption

Potential complications?

  1. Risk for infertility
  2. Pregnancy loss
  3. Pregnancy complications
  4. Heavy bleeding can cause anemia

What are possible treatments?

  1. Women without symptoms will likely not need treatment, fibroids tend to shrink after childbirth and/or menopause.
  2. Treatments vary based on age, symptoms, fertility concerns, size/location or fibroids.
  3. Medications
  4. Surgery to remove fibroid or uterus
  5. Procedure to thin uterus lining or stop blood flow to fibroid

Where can I get more information?

For additional information, please seek further guidance from your primary care provider.


Mayo Clinic (2017). Uterine fibroids. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/symptoms-causes/syc-20354288

Stewart, E. A. (2017). Overview of treatment of uterine leiomyomas (fibroids). In R. L. Bardieri & S. J. Falk (Eds.), UptoDate. Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-treatment-of-uterine-leiomyomas-fibroids?search=uterine%20fibroid&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1#H2

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