Uterine Fibroids (Benign Tumors Of The Uterus)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Uterine Fibroids Slideshow
Uterine fibroids picture

Uterine Fibroids Trreatment

Why is a hysterectomy performed?

The most common reason hysterectomy is performed is for uterine fibroids. Other common reasons are:

  • abnormal uterine bleeding (vaginal bleeding),
  • cervical dysplasia (pre-cancerous conditions of the cervix),
  • endometriosis, and uterine prolapse (including pelvic relaxation).
Picture of Uterine Fibroids

Quick GuideWomen's Health: A Visual Guide to Uterine Fibroids

Women's Health: A Visual Guide to Uterine Fibroids

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 inner 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 5/5/2015

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