Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign (non cancerous) growths that originate from the uterus muscle tissue. These growths are also referred to as leiomyomas or myomas. Fibroids can be found inside the uterus, within it’s wall, or on the outer surface – and also vary in size and shape. A woman could have just one fibroid or several of them in varying sizes. A fibroid can stay really small for an extended time and all of the sudden grow quickly, or get bigger gradually over a period of time. Fibroids are most commonly seen in women 30-40 years old, however they may appear at any age. Fibroids develop more frequently in African American women as compared to Caucasian women. Fibroids also seem to happen at a younger age and grow more rapidly in African American women.

uterine fibroids

Fibroids can cause these symptoms:


  • During sex
  • In the abdomen or lower back (usually dull, heavy and aching, but could be sharp)

Changes in menstruation

  • Menstrual pain (cramps)
  • Longer, more frequent, or heavy menstrual periods
  • Anemia (from blood loss)
  • Vaginal bleeding at times other than menstruation


  • Constipation, rectal pain, or difficult bowel movements
  • Difficulty urinating or frequent urination
  • Abdominal cramps

Enlarged uterus and abdomen



Fibroids can also produce no symptoms whatsoever. Fibroids are sometimes discovered during a regular scheduled pelvic exam or in the course of testing for other concerns. Fibroids which are connected to the uterus with a stem can twist which can trigger nausea, pain or fever. Fibroids that grow quickly, or the ones that start wearing down, may also produce pain. They are seldom connected with cancer. A really large fibroid might result in abdominal swelling making it difficult to perform a comprehensive pelvic exam.

The initial indications of fibroids might be discovered during a routine pelvic exam. Numerous tests may reveal more details about fibroids:

  • Hysteroscopy utilizes a thin device (the hysteroscope) to view the interior of the uterus. The device is inserted through the vagina and cervix which allows the doctor to observe fibroids within the uterine cavity.
  • Ultrasonography utilizes sound waves to produce an image of the uterus and other pelvic organs.
  • Sonohysterography is an exam where fluid is put inside the uterus via the cervix. Ultrasonography will then be used to reveal the interior of the uterus. The fluid creates a clear image of the uterine lining.
  • Hysterosalpingography is a unique X-ray test. It can discover abnormal adjustments in the dimensions and shape of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Laparoscopy uses a thin instrument (the laparoscope) to assist the doctor in looking inside of the abdomen. It’s inserted through a small incision just beneath or through the navel. This allows the doctor to see fibroids around the exterior of the uterus using the laparoscope.