Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growth that affects only 3% of pregnancies.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Uterine fibroids are the benign (non-cancerous in nature) growths of the uterus that often develop during the reproductive years of a woman.

Also, known as Uterine Leiomyoma, uterine fibroids are dependent on the hormones like estrogen and progesterone to grow and that is why are only relevant during the childbearing years of a woman.

These fibroids shrink or calcify after menopause due to the decrease in the production of the hormones but it is quite common in women, can be single or multiple in number, can differ in size and only 3% of them can cause any hindrance in the pregnancy.

According to the reports in the 2013 year, nearly 171 million women are affected by uterine fibroids all across the world. So, let's know more about the condition emphasizing the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.


Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms

Many women develop uterine fibroids sometime in their life but may not be aware of the condition as they might show no symptoms. Many women do not develop any symptoms but if there exists any, depends on the location, size, and a number of fibroids. According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, the Symptoms include:

  • Heavy Bleeding during periods

  • Frequent urination

  • Pelvic pain

  • Pain during sex

  • Difficulty emptying the bladder

  • Backaches or leg pain

  • Constipation

Uterine Fibroids: Types

The type of uterine fibroids in women depends on the location of their development and the different types as described by Healthline include:

  1. Intramural fibroids which are the most common types of fibroids develop within the muscular walls of the uterus and can grow to an extent that can stretch out the womb.

  2. Submucosal fibroids are the ones that develop bulging into the uterine cavity beneath the inner lining of the uterus and are not very common. This type is related to the minute cases of infertility since they hinder the process of implantation.

  3. Sub serosal Fibroids grow beneath the serosa and form the outside of the uterus which makes one side of the womb appear to be larger than the other side.

  4. Cervical fibroids develop in the walls of the cervix which causes difficulty while urinating and pain during sex.


Uterine Fibroids: Causes

The exact cause behind the development of fibroids is quite unknown but several research direct toward certain factors and risks (Cleveland Clinic):

  • Genetic changes or family history. If your mother, grandmother or sister suffered from the condition, you might be at a higher risk.

  • Hormones like estrogen and progesterone promote the development of fibroids, they are responsible for the thickening of the uterine walls during each menstruation cycle in an attempt to prepare the uterus for any pregnancy.

  • Abnormalities in the blood system

Certain risk factors include:

  • Obesity

  • Family history

  • Early onset of periods

  • Not having children

  • Late menopause

  • PCOS

  • Diabetes

  • Alcoholism

Uterine Fibroids: Diagnosis

According to the American Family Physician, the diagnosis process for uterine fibroids depends on the symptoms of the condition, and your doctors may carry out various tests and imaging techniques like:

  • Ultrasound might give a picture of the uterus and enable them to confirm the size and number of fibroids besides its presence.

  • If heavy menstrual bleeding is one of the symptoms, your doctor takes a few blood tests to see if you have anemia, any bleeding disorders, or thyroid-related problems.

  • MRI can help doctors confirm the size and location of the fibroids

  • Hyster sonography is used to expand the uterine cavity via sterile saline to get a picture of submucosal fibroids.

  • Hysteroscopy enables the doctors to examine the uterine walls and openings of the fallopian tubes

Uterine Fibroids: Treatment

There are several options and approaches to treat and manage the symptoms of uterine fibroids.

The non-surgical methods involve medications and focus on regulating the menstrual cycle hormones and managing the symptoms such as pelvic pain and heavy bleeding. They do not help in the removal of the fibroids but help in their shrinkage.


A few of them are:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain

  • Progestin releasing intrauterine device to help with heavy menstrual bleeding

  • Tranexamic acid

Surgical procedures included:

  • Hysterectomy, removal of the uterus which is the permanent solution to prevent fibroids and ends your chances of pregnancy.

  • Myomectomy, removal of the fibroids

  • MRI guided focused ultrasound surgery, Urine artery embolization

  • In endometrial ambulation, a device is inserted to destroy the uterine lining, stopping or reducing the flow of blood

You must discuss your treatment options with a medical expert since every procedure or treatment has its benefits and risks that must be taken into consideration before making a decision.

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