Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. Also called leiomyomas (lie-o-my-O-muhs) or myomas, uterine fibroids aren’t associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer.
Fibroids range in size from seedlings, undetectable by the human eye, to bulky masses that can distort and enlarge the uterus. You can have a single fibroid or multiple ones. In extreme cases, multiple fibroids can expand the uterus so much that it reaches the rib cage and can add weight.
Many women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives. But you might not know you have uterine fibroids because they often cause no symptoms. Your doctor may discover fibroid Symptoms. Many women who have fibroids don’t have any symptoms. In those that do, symptoms can be influenced by the location, size, and number of fibroids.
In women who have symptoms, the most common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
● Heavy menstrual bleeding
● Menstrual periods lasting more than a week
● Pelvic pressure or pain
● Frequent urination
● Difficulty emptying the bladder
● Backache or leg pains
Rarely, a fibroid can cause acute pain when it outgrows its blood supply and begins to die. Fibroids are generally classified by their location. Intramural fibroids grow within the muscular uterine wall. Submucosal fibroids bulge into the uterine cavity. Subserosal fibroids project to the outside of the uterus. oids incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.
What If I Need Surgery?
A myomectomy (surgery to remove one or more fibroids) may be recommended in women with heavy periods and severe pelvic pain which is not controlled by medical treatment. This may be a good option for women who wish to become pregnant in the future or do not want to have their uterus removed. A myomectomy may also be recommended before pregnancy if one or more fibroids are inside the uterine cavity, which may prevent a pregnancy from implanting, and increase the risk of miscarriage and/or preterm labor. Some women may choose to have their uterus removed (hysterectomy) if they have heavy periods and severe pelvic pain that does not get better with medical treatment.