Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow within or along the walls of the uterus. They are primarily made up of smooth muscle cells and range dramatically in size. A fibroid can be the size of the sesame seed or, in extreme cases, can be the size of a grapefruit. Although most women with fibroids experience no symptoms at all, some women report feeling abdominal pressure and pain, bloating, and large ones may sometimes give the false appearance of being pregnant.
Where Are Uterine Fibroids Found?
Depending on the location, fibroids are classified into three types:
Intramural uterine fibroids: These are the most common type of uterine fibroid and are found within the muscular wall of the uterus. Their symptoms include pelvic pain, back pain or pressure, and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Subserosal uterine fibroids: This type of fibroid is found outside the uterus and cause very heavy bleeding and possibly anemia.
Submucosal uterine fibroids: While not as common as the other types of uterine fibroids, this type grows just beneath the surface of the uterus lining and protrude outward. They are less likely to impact a menstrual cycle but may cause back pain or bladder pressure.
What Causes Uterine Fibroids?
Although the cause of uterine fibroids is still unclear it is often associated with high levels of estrogen and potentially family genetics. Uterine fibroids do not start to develop until a woman’s reproductive years and often begin to disappear or shrink during menopause. Furthermore, women who are overweight, African-American women, and frequent red meat eaters are considered to have an elevated risk of having uterine fibroids.
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The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately.