What Is a Fibroid Tumor in Uterus?

Fibroid tumors in the uterus (also known as uterine fibroids, myomas, fibromas or leiomyomas) are noncancerous tumors that grow along or inside a woman’s uterus. They consist mostly of smooth muscle tissue. They can be of different sizes, and there can be more than one fibroid tumors in a uterus. Fibroid tumors range from small, barely visible myomas, to huge tumors larger than a baseball.

Fibroid Tumor: Is It Dangerous?

Today, uterine fibroids are the most common gynecological disease. According to statistics, women aged 30-50 are most susceptible to this condition. However, sometimes fibroids of sufficiently large size are also found in young women under the age of 30.

The main feature of fibroids is that they develop due to changes in the level of the hormone estrogen, although there are many risk factors for the development of this disease.

Uterine Fibroid Risk Factors: Do Genetic Fibroids Exist?

Uterine fibroids are a benign tumor that is not cancer, so in normal uncomplicated cases, it is not life-threatening.

Nevertheless, given the prevalence of the disease and the high risk of complications, the urgency of the diagnosis and treatment of uterine fibroids is very high.

Fibroids do not always require treatment. In 50% of cases, they form and grow asymptomatically.

Uterine fibroids may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

– heavy periods,
– heavy periods or bloody discharge between menstruation,
– the absence of pregnancy, despite regular sex life,
– an increase in the volume of the abdomen (enlarged uterus),
– violation of urinary function (frequent urination),
– pain in the lower abdomen, in the lower back, in the legs.

Related: Learn more about fibroid symptoms and common indications

As practice shows, fibroids in less than 1 percent of cases degenerate into a malignant tumor. And during menopause, when estrogen levels decrease, the tumor decreases in size.

It is very important in which place the tumor began to form and grow. When it grows in the uterine cavity, even being small, myoma can provoke heavy bleeding during menstruation, and cause infertility.

Dr. John Lipman’s Featured Playlist: Everything You Need to Know About Fibroid Tumors

Types of Fibroid Tumors

There are 4 kinds of fibroid tumors, and it’s possible to have more than one kind of myomas.

  • Intramural fibroid tumors are the most common kind. They grow in the wall of the uterus.
  • Subserosal fibroid tumors grow on the outside of the uterus. As they grow larger, they can cause pain due to their size or press on organs like bladder, for example. This can lead to other common symptoms of subserosal myomas like frequent urination (among other symptoms).
  • Submucosal fibroid tumors grow just underneath the uterine lining and can fill the uterus cavity leading to heavy bleeding, unusually long periods, and in some cases, anemia.
  • Pedunculated fibroid tumors grow on small stalks inside or outside the uterus.

The main methods for diagnosing uterine fibroids are ultrasound and MRI. During the ultrasound, the doctor can detect the first signs of the disease, so it is important to visit the gynecologist at least once a year.

Related: Pelvic MRI for Fibroids: Imaging with an MRI to Identify Uterine Fibroids

However, an MRI is needed to make an accurate diagnosis. During this examination, it is possible to clarify the location of the tumor, the number of fibroid nodes, their location relative to neighboring organs.

What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor About Fibroid Tumors?

  • How many fibroids do I have?
  • What size is my fibroid(s)?
  • Where is my fibroid(s) located (to better understand what to expect in the future)?
  • Can I expect the fibroids to grow larger (and what can I do to slow down the growth)?
  • What symptoms and consequences can the fibroids cause?
  • What tests or imaging studies are best for keeping track of the growth of my fibroids? (you can learn more about imaging with MRI here)
  • What are treatment options if my fibroids start causing symptoms?

A second opinion from an experienced interventional radiologist is always a good idea if your doctor has not answered your questions fully or you are not satisfied with the treatment options offered to you.

Not all gynecologists tell patients that they have different options, and one of them is a non-surgical treatment of a fibroid tumor with the UFE procedure.

Uterine fibroid embolization is a high-tech, minimally invasive, and painless method for treating uterine fibroids. The procedure can be carried out at any size and arrangement of nodes.

This is a chance for every woman to go home on the day of the procedure, without fibroids, with a whole uterus, without symptoms, while retaining the ability to have children.

If you decide to treat uterine fibroids with the modern nonsurgical method UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization) at Atlanta Fibroid Center, you can be calm for your health.