(Fibroids; Leiomyoma; Myoma; Fibromyoma)
DefinitionFibroids are benign (noncancerous) growths in the wall of the uterus. The uterus is the organ where a fetus grows during pregnancy.Fibroids are common. They may be very small or they could grow to eight or more inches in diameter. Most fibroids remain inside the uterus. Sometimes, they may stick out and affect nearby organs. It is common for there to be more than one fibroid.
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CausesThe cause of fibroids is unknown.Fibroid growth is stimulated by female reproductive hormones. As a result:
- Fibroids grow larger during pregnancy then shrink after childbirth.
- Fibroids become less of a problem after menopause . However, symptoms may return with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) .
Risk FactorsAfrican American women are at increased risk. Other factors that affect your risk of fibroids include:
- Risk increases with age until menopause
- Family history
SymptomsThere many not be any symptoms. Or, symptoms may be mild or severe. This depends on the size and location of the growths.Symptoms may include:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Clots in menstrual flow
- Long periods
- Bleeding between periods
- Increased cramping during periods
- Pain during sex
- Frequent need to urinate
- Abdominal swelling
- Low back or leg pain
- Infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes
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