Uterine fibroids are tumors that grow in a woman's womb (uterus). These growths are typically cancerous (benign).
Leiomyoma; Fibromyoma; Myoma; Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are common. As many as 1 in 5 women may have fibroids during their childbearing years. Half of all women have fibroids by age 50.
Fibroids are rare in women under age 20. They are more common in African-Americans than White.
Video: Uterine fibroids < H2>
No one knows exactly what causes fibroids. They are thought to be caused by:
Hormones in the body
Genes (may run in families)
Fibroids can be So tiny that you need a microscope to see them. They can also grow very large. They may fill the entire uterus and may weigh several pounds. Although it is possible for just 1 fibroid to develop, most often there is more than 1.
Fibroids can grow:
In the muscle wall of the uterus (myometrial)
Just under the surface of the uterine lining (submucosal)
Just under the outside lining of the uterus The uterus or inside the uterus (pedunculated)
Common symptoms of uterine fibroids are: Bleeding between periods
Heavy bleeding during your period, sometimes with blood clots Periods that may last longer than normal Pelvic cramping Or pain with periods Feeling fullness or pressure in your lower belly Pain during intercourse
Often, you can have fibroids and do not have any Symptoms Your health care provider may find them during a physical exam or other test. Fibroids often shrink and cause no symptoms in women who have gone through menopause. A recent study also showed that small fibroids shrink in premenopausal women.
Exams and Tests
Fibroids are not always easy to diagnose. Being obese may make fibroids harder to detect. You may need these tests to look for fibroids:
Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the uterus / Li>
Saline infusion sonogram (hysterosonography): Saline is injected into the uterus to make it easier to see the uterus using ultrasound
Hysteroscopy uses a long, thin tube inserted through the vagina and into the Uterus to examine the inside of the uterus
Endometrial biopsy removes a small piece of the lining of the uterus to check for cancer if you have unusual bleeding Treatment
Your general health
Li> Type of fibroids
If you are pregnant
If you want children in the future
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) that releas And hormones to help reduce heavy bleeding and pain
Tranexamic acid to reduce the amount of blood flow
Iron supplements to prevent or treat anemia due to heavy periods
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naprosyn for cramps or pain
Hormone therapy shots to help shrink fibroids (done only for short time)
Watchful waiting. You may have pelvic exams or ultrasounds every once in a while to check the fibroid's growth
National Uterine Fibroid Foundation - www.nuff.org
If you have fibroids without symptoms, you may not need treatment. > If you have fibroids, they may grow if you become pregnant. This is due to the increased blood flow and higher estrogen levels. The fibroids usually return to their original size after your baby is born.
Complications of fibroids include: Severe pain or very heavy Bleeding that needs emergency surgery.
Twisting of the fibroid. This can cause blocked blood vessels that feed the tumor. You may need surgery if this happens. Anemia (not having enough red blood cells) from heavy bleeding. Urinary tract infections: If fibroid presses on the bladder, it can be If you are pregnant, there is a small risk that fibroids may cause complications:
You may deliver your baby early because there is not enough room in your womb.
If the fibroid blocks the birth canal or puts the baby in a dangerous position, you may need to have To C-section.
You may have heavy bleeding right after giving birth
Panagiotopoulou N, Nethra S, Karavolos S, Ahmad G, Karabis A, Burls A. Uterine-sparing minimally invasive interventions in women with uterine fibroids: a systematic review and indirect treatment comparison meta-analysis. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand . 2014; 93 (9): 858-67. PMID: 24909191 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24909191.
Rodriguez MI, Warden M, Darney PD. Intrauterine progestins, progesterone antagonists, and receptor modulators: a review of gynecologic applications. Am J Obstet Gynecol . 2010; 202 (5): 420-8. PMID: 20031112 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20031112.
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