Uterine fibroids are common, non-cancerous growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. You can have fibroids on the inside, outside, or in the wall of your uterus. Your doctor may call them fibroid tumors, leiomyomas, or myomas.
Fibroids are not cancerous, and they do not increase your risk for uterine cancer. You may not need to do anything about them unless they are causing difficult or painful symptoms that affect your quality of life.
Patients in their thirties and forties typically seek help for fibroids. Doctors are not sure what causes fibroids, but the hormones estrogen and progesterone seem to make them grow. Your body makes the highest levels of these hormones during the years when you have periods. Fibroids usually shrink or stop growing after menopause, and often the symptoms stop or improve.
Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
While fibroids do not always cause symptoms, their size and location can lead to problems for some. Symptoms may be mild, like periods that are a little heavier than usual. However, if the fibroids are large or in a particular location that presses on other surrounding organs, the symptoms may include pelvic pressure and pain in addition to abnormal bleeding.
Symptoms may include:
● Heavy, irregular, or prolonged menstrual bleeding
● Fatigue or low energy from heavy periods and excessive bleeding
● Pelvic pressure or pain
● Abdominal swelling and constipation
● Low back or leg pain
● Pain during sexual intercourse
● An urge to urinate often
● Difficulty emptying the bladder
● Difficulty getting pregnant
Treatments for fibroids include:Related Treatments