Uterine fibroids are tumors that develop from the muscle and connective tissue of the uterus and can grow within or on the outside of the uterus itself, according to Mayo Clinic. In most cases, these benign growths have no signs or symptoms and require no treatment as they do not affect your health, according to Mayo Clinic. However, other times uterine fibroids can cause problems such as irregular menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and pressure in the pelvis, severe pain during sexual intercourse or urination, constipation and infertility.
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are benign (noncancerous) growths that develop in or around a woman’s uterus (womb). They are also called leiomyomas or myomas. Uterine fibroids can vary greatly in size; some are so small that they can’t be seen by the naked eye, while others grow to be as big as a grapefruit.
Who gets them?
Uterine fibroids are common, affecting an estimated 70-80% of women by age 50. Though they can occur at any age, they are most common during childbearing years. African American women are more likely to develop fibroids than other groups of women.
How are they treated?
Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths that can develop in or around the uterus during a woman’s childbearing years. While most women with uterine fibroids don’t experience any symptoms, some may have heavy bleeding, pain, or pressure in the pelvic area. Fibroids can also cause infertility or pregnancy complications.
What about pregnancy?
If you have fibroids, you may be wondering how they will affect your pregnancy. In most cases, fibroids do not cause any problems during pregnancy. However, in some cases they can cause complications such as preterm labor or bleeding after delivery. If you are pregnant and have fibroids, be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.
Myths vs facts
Let’s get started by busting some myths about uterine fibroids. MYTH: Fibroids are cancerous. FACT: Fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterus. MYTH: All women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives. FACT: While it’s true that many women will develop fibroids, not all women will. MYTH: Fibroids only affect women of childbearing age.
Tips to reduce your risk
There’s no surefire way to prevent uterine fibroids, but these tips may help lower your risk: