Uterine Fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) growths that form in the wall of the uterus. Their size varies – small fibroids can measure less than one inch, but larger fibroids can grow to 5 inches or larger. In many cases, fibroids will display no symptoms, and will shrink naturally during menopause, when horomones change. In rare cases, they may contribute to pregnancy loss, infertility, or other complications with pregnancy. The diagram above shows different types of fibroids and their names.

Risk Factors

  • Hormones have a large impact on the development of the uterine lining, and excessive estrogen and progesterone may promote the growth of fibroids. The use of certain types of birth control may contribute to this
  • Genetics may increase the risk of developing fibroids
  • African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids
  • Vitamin D Deficiency

Symptoms

  • Women with uterine fibroids have a range of symptoms depending on the size and location of the fibroids. Some experience no symptoms, but fibroids can cause pain.
  • Pain the pelvis
  • Back pain
  • Frequent Urination
  • Longer menstrual periods
  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation

Diagnosis

Treatments

  • Most cases of fibroids do not interfere with pregnancy and are non-cancerous. If symptoms are mild and manageable, “watchful waiting” may be the best option.
  • Medications to shrink fibroids
  • Myectomy, or surgical removal of fibroids
  • Hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the entire uterus
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization (Minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomy, offered in our office)