Uterine Fibroids
(Benign Tumors Of The Uterus)

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Uterine fibroids facts

  • Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that originate in the uterus (womb).
  • It is not known exactly why women develop uterine fibroids.
  • Most women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms. However, fibroids can cause a number of symptoms depending on their size, location within the uterus, and how close they are to adjacent pelvic organs. These are most commonly abnormal bleeding, pain and pressure.
  • Uterine fibroids are diagnosed by pelvic exam and by ultrasound.
  • If treatment for uterine fibroids is required, both surgical and medical treatment options are available.

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that originate in the uterus (womb). Although they are composed of the same smooth muscle fibers as the uterine wall (myometrium), they are much denser than normal myometrium. Uterine fibroids are usually round.

Uterine fibroids are often described based upon their location within the uterus. Subserosal fibroids are located beneath the serosa (the lining membrane on the outside of the uterus). These often appear localized on the outside surface of the uterus or may be attached to the outside surface by a pedicle. Submucosal (submucous) fibroids are located inside the uterine cavity beneath the lining of the uterus. Intramural fibroids are located within the muscular wall of the uterus.

Picture of uterine fibroids
Picture of uterine fibroids
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2014

Patient Comments

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Uterine Fibroids - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with uterine fibroids (benign tumors of the uterus).
Uterine Fibroids - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your uterine fibroids?
Uterine Fibroids - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your uterine fibroids
Uterine Fibroids - Surgery Question: If you had surgery to remove fibroids, describe the procedure. Are you satisfied with the results?
Uterine Fibroids - Diagnosis Question: What were the tests and exams that led to a diagnosis of uterine fibroids?

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroid Symptoms

Most women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms.

However, abnormal uterine bleeding is the most common symptom of a fibroid. If the tumors are near the uterine lining, or interfere with the blood flow to the lining, they can cause heavy periods, painful periods, prolonged periods or spotting between menses. Women with excessive bleeding due to fibroids may develop iron deficiency anemia. Uterine fibroids that are deteriorating can sometimes cause severe, localized pain.

Fibroids can also cause a number of symptoms depending on their size, location within the uterus, and how close they are to adjacent pelvic organs. Large fibroids can cause:

  • pressure,
  • pelvic pain,
  • pressure on the bladder with frequent or even obstructed urination, and
  • pressure on the rectum with pain during defecation.

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