What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroid (leiomyomas or myomas) are benign (non-cancerous) growths of muscle that develop in the uterus wall.
Why does it happen?
- Genetic changes in uterine muscle cells
- Hormonal changes and cellular growth factors
What are possible symptoms?
- Pain/pressure in the abdomen
- Heavy periods and/or spotting between periods
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Back ache
- Pelvic pain
Who is at risk for developing uterine fibroids?
- Women with a family history of fibroids
- African Americans
- Women who started menstruation early and/or use birth control
- Low vitamin D
- Diets high in red meat and low in fruit/dairy/green vegetables
- Alcohol consumption
- Risk for infertility
- Pregnancy loss
- Pregnancy complications
- Heavy bleeding can cause anemia
What are possible treatments?
- Women without symptoms will likely not need treatment, fibroids tend to shrink after childbirth and/or menopause.
- Treatments vary based on age, symptoms, fertility concerns, size/location or fibroids.
- Surgery to remove fibroid or uterus
- 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