This article is part of our Uterine Fibroid Awareness Campaign during the Month July. Stay tuned for regular articles and posts regarding Uterine Fibroids and Women's health.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb). Another medical term for fibroids is leiomyoma or just "myoma". Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous). Fibroids can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them in the uterus. They can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a grapefruit. In unusual cases they can become very large.
What are the symptoms of Fibroids?:
Heavy bleeding (which can be heavy enough to cause anemia) or painful periods
Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area (lower stomach area)
Enlargement of the lower abdomen
Pain during sex
Lower back pain
Complications during pregnancy and labor, including a six-time greater risk of cesarean section
Reproductive problems, such as infertility, which is very rare
Who gets Fibroids?
·Age. Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.
Family history. Having a family member with fibroids increases your risk. If a woman's mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.
Ethnic origin. African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.
Obesity. Women who are overweight are at higher risk for fibroids. For very heavy women, the risk is two to three times greater than average.
·Eating habits. Eating a lot of red meat (e.g., beef) and ham is linked with a higher risk of fibroids. Eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women from developing fibroids.
How are Fibroids Treated?
Most women with fibroids do not have any symptoms. For women who do have symptoms, there are treatments that can help. Talk with your doctor about the best way to treat your fibroids. You doctor will consider many things before helping you choose a treatment. Some of these things include:
Whether or not you are having symptoms from the fibroids
If you might want to become pregnant in the future
The size of the fibroids
The location of the fibroids
Your age and how close to menopause you might be
If you have fibroids but do not have any symptoms, you may not need treatment. Your doctor will check during your regular exams to see if they have grown.
If you have any questions about Uterine Fibroids, our minimally invasive therapies or would like to refer a patient, MIMIT Health can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org