What are fibroids?

 

What are fibroids? Uterine fibroids (also known as uterine leiomyomas, myomas, or leiomyomata) are benign tumors of the smooth muscle layer of the uterus. The uterus is a pear-shaped muscular organ normally about seven centimeters long and five centimeters wide located in the pelvis between the bladder and the rectum.

It is estimated that at least 20 percent of women have uterine fibroids, although only about one third of these women have symptoms that require treatment. In many cases, fibroids do not cause any symptoms and are discovered during a routine pelvic examination or by ultrasound.

Fibroids occur most frequently in women between ages 30 and 40; however, they can occur in women at any age including during adolescence and menopause. They tend to grow larger with advancing age.

Uterine fibroids can be as small as an apple seed or as large as a melon. They may develop singly or in clusters. There are several different types of uterine fibroids: subserosal (projecting outward from the wall of the uterus); intramural (within the wall of the uterus); submucosal (growing into the cavity of the uterus

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