Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or myomas, are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow on or within the muscle tissue of the uterus.
Some of the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include heavy, excessive menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and pressure, and urinary incontinence and frequency. If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors, you may find it difficult to perform your daily activities and maintain your way of life.
There are different types of fibroids and the size can range from very small (walnut size) to as large as a cantaloupe or even larger. It is common for a woman to have multiple fibroid tumors and it may be difficult to understand which fibroid is causing your symptoms.
Approximately 20-40% of women 35 years and older have fibroid tumors. Fibroids are more common among women of African-American descent. Some statistics indicate that up to 80% of African-American women will develop uterine fibroids. Find out if you are at risk for uterine fibroids.
If you have fibroids you have options. While some women do not experience any of the symptoms of fibroids, the location and size of fibroid tumors can cause symptoms that can affect a woman’s quality of life. Take a look at the treatment options available.
Fibroids are hormonally sensitive so symptoms are likely to be cyclical, like menstruation. As estrogen levels tend to increase prior to the onset of menopause, this may cause the size of many uterine fibroids to increase along with the symptoms. During menopause the levels of estrogen decrease dramatically, causing fibroids to shrink. However, women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause may not experience any symptom relief because the estrogen contained in this regime may cause fibroid tumors to enlarge and symptoms to return.