Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. Although it is unclear why fibroids develop, but several factors may influence their formation, such as hormones and family history. About 70 to 80 percent of women experience fibroids by the age of 50. Sometimes, these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. In other cases, they cause no signs or symptoms at all. The growths are typically benign (noncancerous).

Types of Fibroids

Intramural Fibroids : Intramural fibroids are the most common type of fibroid. These types appear within the lining of the uterus (endometrium). Intramural fibroids may grow larger and actually stretch your womb.

Subserosal Fibroids : Subserosal fibroids form on the outside of your uterus, which is called the serosa. They may grow large enough to make womb appear bigger on one side.

Pedunculated Fibroids : When subserosal tumors develop a stem (a slender base that supports the tumor), they become pedunculated fibroids.

Submucosal Fibroids : These types of tumors develop in the inner lining (myometrium) of uterus. Submucosal tumors are not as common as other types, but when they do develop, they may cause heavy menstrual bleeding and trouble conceiving.

Causes for  Fibroids?

It is unclear why fibroids develop, but several factors may influence their formation.

Hormones : Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones produced by the ovaries. They cause the uterine lining to regenerate during each menstrual cycle and may stimulate the growth of fibroids.

Family History : Fibroids may run in the family. If your mother, sister, or grandmother has a history of this condition, you may develop it as well.

Pregnancy : Pregnancy increases the production of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Fibroids may develop and grow rapidly while you are pregnant.

Women with following factors are at greater risk for developing fibroids.
  • Pregnancy
  • A family history of fibroids
  • Being over the age of 30
  • Being of African-American descent
  • Having a high body weight

Symptoms of Fibroids?

Symptoms will depend on the location and size of the tumor(s) and the number of the tumor(s). If tumor is very small, or if you are going through menopause, you may not have any symptoms. Fibroids may shrink during and after menopause.

Symptoms of fibroids may include

  • Heavy bleeding between or during your periods that includes blood clots
  • Pain in the pelvis and/or lower back
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Increased urination
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Menstruation that lasts longer than usual
  • Pressure or fullness in your lower abdomen
  • Swelling or enlargement of the abdomen

Diagnosing of  Fibroids

Using an Ultrasound Scan or Pelvic MRI a gynecologist can diagnose fibroids.


Medications : Medications to regulate hormone levels may be prescribed to shrink fibroids. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, such as leuprolide (Lupron), will cause estrogen and progesterone levels to drop. This will eventually stop menstruation and shrink fibroids.

Surgery : Surgery to remove very large or multiple growths (myomectomy) may be performed. An abdominal myomectomy involves making a large incision in the abdomen to access the uterus and remove the fibroids. The surgery can also be performed laparoscopically, using a few small incisions into which surgical tools and a camera are inserted.

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