What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus formed from the smooth muscle of the uterus (myometrium). The cause of fibroids is unknown. Fibroids are more common in women whose mother or sister has fibroids. Black women also develop fibroids more frequently than other races.

Fibroids may be asymptomatic (causing no symptoms) or symptomatic causing heavy, painful periods or dyspareunia (pain with intercourse). They range in size, which is not always a predictor of symptoms.

Fibroids are usually diagnosed by ultrasound but may be found on exam.

Treatment options are based on the severity of symptoms. Asymptomatic fibroids may be observed or may be removed surgically if position or size is inhibiting conception in women desiring pregnancy. Symptomatic fibroids may be removed surgically (myomectomy) or in severe cases may require hysterectomy.

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