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Fibroids and You

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Fibroids and You

Source: Healthline 

What are fibroids? 

Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on the uterus. 

Sometimes these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. In most cases, they cause no signs or symptoms at all. 

The growths are typically benign, or noncancerous. The cause of fibroids is unknown. 

Fibroids are also known by the following names: 

  • uterine fibroids 

  • fibromas 

  • myomas 

  • leiomyomas 

  • uterine myomas 

According to the Office on Women’s Health, around 20% to 80% of women have them by the age of 50 years old. However, most people don’t have any symptoms and may never know they have fibroids. 

Types of fibroids 

There are various types of fibroids. The types differ depending on their location in or on the uterus

  • Intramural fibroids: Intramural fibroids are the most common type. They appear within the muscular wall of the uterus. Intramural fibroids may grow larger and can stretch your uterus. 

  • Subserosal fibroids: Subserosal fibroids form on the outside of your uterus, which is called the serosa. They may grow large enough to make your uterus appear bigger on one side. 

  • Pedunculated fibroids: Subserosal fibroids can develop a stem, a slender base that supports the tumor. When they do, they’re known as pedunculated fibroids

  • Submucosal fibroids: These types of tumors develop in the myometrium, the middle muscle layer of your uterus. Submucosal tumors aren’t as common as other types. 

  • Cervical fibroids: Cervical fibroids develop on the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina. They’re also rare. 

Fibroids symptoms 

Your symptoms will depend on the number of tumors you have as well as their location and size. For instance, submucosal fibroids may cause heavy menstrual bleeding and trouble conceiving

If your tumor is very small or you’re going through menopause, you may not have any symptoms. Fibroids may even shrink during menopause and after menopause. This is because your estrogen and progesterone levels drop during menopause. These hormones stimulate fibroid growth. 

Symptoms of fibroids may include: 

Causes of fibroids 

It’s unclear why fibroids develop. A couple of different factors may influence their formation: 

  • Hormones: The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the uterine lining to regenerate during each menstrual cycle and stimulate the growth of fibroids. 

  • Family history: Fibroids may run in the family. If your mother, sister, or grandmother has a history of this condition, you may develop it as well. 

People are at greater risk of developing fibroids if they have one or more of the following risk factors: 

People who are African American are also at a higher risk of fibroids than people of other ethnicities. 

Fibroids vs. cysts 

Ovarian cysts are another type of growth that can develop within the female reproductive system. These fluid-filled sacs are noncancerous and often asymptomatic, just like fibroids. 

When symptoms do occur, they can also result in pelvic pain, bloating, and changes to the menstrual cycle. Learn more about how fibroids compare with cysts. 

Talk to your Campbell County Health provider if you have concerns about fibroids and their affects. Call 307.688.6000 to schedule an appointment today.

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