Uterine fibroids are tumors or lumps made of muscle cells and other tissue that grow within the wall of the uterus. Although fibroids are called “tumors,” they are not cancer. Fibroids may grow as a single tumor or in clusters. A single fibroid can be less than 1 inch in size or can grow to 8 inches across or more.
What causes fibroids?
• Genetics (e.g., genetic mutations in the MED12, HMGA2, COL4A5/COL4A6, or FH genes)
• Growth hormones.
• Micronutrients, such as iron, that the body needs only small amounts of in the blood. For instance, a deficiency of vitamin D may be associated with uterine fibroids.
• Major stresses.
What happens if fibroids go untreated?
If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number. As these tumors take over the uterus the symptoms will become worse. The pain will increase. The heavy bleeding will become heavier and it may be accompanied by severe cramping.
What happens if I have fibroids?
Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but some women with fibroids can have: 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
What are the symptoms 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
What is the best treatment for fibroids?
There’s no single best approach to uterine fibroid treatment — many treatment options exist. If you have symptoms, talk with your doctor about options for symptom relief.
Can I get pregnant with fibroids?
Uterine fibroids may affect your fertility. They may also impact your ability to carry a pregnancy successfully. However, most women will experience no fertility issues or pregnancy complications as a result of these tumors. While you can’t prevent fibroids, a healthy lifestyle may lower your risk.