Let’s Talk About Uterine Fibroids

Woman with tummy ache

Fibroids are noncancerous tumors composed of smooth muscle cells wrapped in a fibrous covering. They are found in the wall of the uterus and sometimes on the cervix and are more common in women in their 30s and 40s. You might not notice them, but if they become problematic, they are treatable.

How common are fibroids?

  • The National Institute of Health estimates that 80% of all women will develop uterine fibroids at some point during their lives. Because many women don’t experience any symptoms, it’s possible the incidence of uterine fibroids is even higher. Fibroids are considered benign or noncancerous, but can make life painful.

Can changes in hormones cause fibroids?

  • Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids. Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal uterine muscle cells do.

How can fibroids be removed?

  • A myomectomy is an operation to remove fibroids while preserving the uterus. For women who have fibroid symptoms and want to have children in the future, myomectomy is the best treatment option. Myomectomy is very effective, but fibroids can re-grow. 

Other key points about uterine fibroids according to @uclahealth:

  • Uterine fibroids are the most common tumor of the reproductive tract.
  • Women who are nearing menopause are at the greatest risk for fibroids.
  • Fibroids are most often found during a routine pelvic exam.
  • Symptoms may include heavy and prolonged periods, bleeding between periods and pelvic pain.

Credit: @ucsfhealth @uclahealth @mayoclinic



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