Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterine wall, found mostly in women of reproductive age. Fibroids can be found in a range of sizes, from little seedlings to bulky masses. They can be either single or multiple. Many women may have uterine fibroids, but they are not always detected, b/c they may not cause symptoms.
The causes of fibroids may be the following:
- Genetic changes in the genes of the cells of the fibroid
- Hormones (estrogen and progesterone promote endometrial growth, and fibroids have more receptors for these hormones than normal endometrial tissue)
- Other growth factors, like insulin like growth factor
Many women may not have symptoms, but in those that do, the symptoms depend on the location, size, and number of fibroids. The most common indications of uterine fibroids are:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual periods lasting more than 7 days
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Backache or leg pain
For diagnosis, and confirmation of the diagnosis, the following tests are done:
- Blood tests (complete blood count)
The treatment options for uterine fibroids are numerous, ranging from antibiotics to surgery. Consult your physician to find the best option for your condition.