Uterine fibroids are overgrowths of muscle tissue that form inside the uterus. Fibroids can range in size and shape, with some very tiny fibroids causing no symptoms at all and only being identified during an exam. Other fibroids can grow to be as large as a melon, although most are much smaller. Researchers don’t know the specific cause of fibroid development and growth, but they do know hormonal fluctuations play a role. Fibroid growth tends to slow and stop completely during menopause, when many fibroids shrink. Women with a family history of fibroids may be more likely to develop them themselves. Sometimes, fibroids grow during pregnancy, causing complications and problems for the developing baby. In these cases, frequent prenatal exams and monitoring are important to making sure the baby stays healthy and development and growth are not interrupted.
No, nearly all uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous).
Fibroids can cause many different symptoms, with larger fibroids or more numerous fibroids associated with more severe symptoms. These symptoms can include:
Small fibroids that cause few or no symptoms typically are not treated, but may be monitored to track their growth. When fibroids do cause symptoms, several methods are available to treat them, including:
Yes, in some cases, fibroids can recur. The risk of recurrence can be influenced by different factors including the method used to treat them. All these issues can be discussed during the office evaluation.
*Individual results may vary