Uterine fibroids are growths on the uterus that women in the childbearing age group sometimes get. These are not cancerous and do not increase the risk of getting uterine cancer. The fibroids vary in size and there may be one or multiple. Many women have uterine fibroids at some time in their lives, and may not know about them, as they do not always cause any symptoms.
Uterine fibroids are benign growths which may appear in your uterus, uterine wall, or on its surface. They are made up of muscle and connective tissue. Fibroids may grow as a single nodule or in clusters and may range in size from 1 mm to more than 20 cm in diameter.
The exact causes of fibroids are not known yet, but two factors probably contribute:
A number of factors increase the risk of developing uterine fibroids:
Signs & Symptoms:
Some fibroids may not cause any symptoms and discomfort, so you may discover that you have them only due to a routine exam or ultrasound.
Sometimes fibroids cause symptoms, such as:
Fibroids are often discovered when the gynaecologist conducts a pelvic exam, as the shape of the uterus may have changed. Your doctor will recommend other tests in order to get more information.
These tests could be:
You may not even know that you have uterine fibroids because they often don’t show any symptoms. Treatment plans are based on the number, size, location of the fibroids, their symptoms, and your plans for future pregnancies.
Medications usually don't eliminate fibroids but may shrink them. However, on discontinuation of hormonal therapy they may grow again.
A: You can reduce your risk of developing fibroids by eating plenty of fruits like apples, vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and tomatoes, and whole-grain foods. Managing your blood pressure and stress is important.
Always check with your doctor before taking supplements, as some of them may increase certain hormone levels. Avoid eating a lot of red meats and processed foods.
A: Don’t worry, it is extremely rare for a fibroid to become malignant or cancerous. While there is no test with 100% accuracy to predict whether this will happen, you should watch for fibroids that grow very rapidly, or grow even after menopause.
A: Yes, regular exercise regulates your hormone levels, so it will benefit your fibroids.