Doctor's Notes on Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors of smooth muscle that originate in a woman’s uterus (womb). The medical term for a fibroid is leiomyoma. The cause of fibroids is not well understood, but they are very common in women of childbearing age.
Fibroids range dramatically in size. They may be microscopic or 8 or more inches across. Typically they are between the size of a marble and a baseball. Fibroids may occur in clusters. In most cases, fibroids do not have any associated symptoms. However, depending on their size, location within the uterus, and proximity to other pelvic organs, they may cause:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding or heavy menstrual periods,
- abdominal or pelvic discomfort,
- frequent urination, or
- a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen.
What Is the Treatment for Uterine Fibroids?
If they do not cause symptoms, uterine fibroids may not require treatment. If they do cause symptoms, treatment may include:
Endometriosis : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
Endometriosis occurs deep inside the uterus.See Answer
Must Read Articles:
Abnormal Vaginal BleedingLearn about what causes abnormal vaginal bleeding (spotting in between periods), including hormonal disorders, benign or malignant tumors, blood clotting disorders, certain medications, and infections.
Do Fibroids Go Away on Their Own?Uterine fibroids (also called uterine leiomyomas or myomas) are common, noncancerous tumors that form in the muscle of the uterus. Fibroids can form inside or outside of the uterus. If fibroids do not cause symptoms, no treatment is needed. Fibroids may go away on their own if estrogen levels in the body decrease.
How Do I Know If I Have Fibroids or Polyps?Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow on the inside or outside of the uterus. Polyps are abnormal growths of tissue that can form on any part of the body that has mucus membranes. Doctors use the following tests to diagnose uterine fibroids and polyps: pelvic ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, hystosalpingography (a special type of X-ray), saline sonography
Symptoms of Uterine Cancer vs. FibroidsUterine cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the muscles of the uterus or tissues that support the uterus. Cancers that develop in the uterus are types of sarcomas. A uterine fibroid is a common, benign (not cancerous) tumor that occurs on the smooth muscle of the wall of the uterus. Fibroids can develop inside the uterus, within the uterine muscle, or on the outside of the uterus.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.