What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomas, myomas, fibromas or [simply] fibroids, are benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. Many women have no symptoms while other women experience a number of fibroid-related symptoms.

Related: Learn more about common fibroid symptoms

A woman can have one uterine fibroid or many and they can vary in sizes and location in the uterus. But treatment is not necessary, if patients experience no symptoms.

Most American women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in their lives. Studies found that, by age 50, up to 70 percent of Caucasian and up to 80 percent of African American females have uterine fibroids.


Dr. John Lipman’s Featured Playlist: Everything You Need to Know About Uterine Fibroids








What’s a fibroid tumor?

A tumor is a mass of abnormal tissue. There are two types of tumors: those that are non-cancerous, or ‘benign’, and those that are cancerous, or ‘malignant’. Fibroid tumors are almost always non-cancerous. Cancerous fibroid tumors are very rare (approximately one in 1,000). There are different types of fibroid tumors:

  • Intramural fibroids are the most common type that appear within the muscular wall of the uterus. These myomas can grow larger and stretch your womb (uterus).
  • Subserosal fibroids form on the outside of your uterus. These myomas may also grow large enough to make your womb appear bigger on one side (patients often report “looking pregnant” when fibroid tumors enlarge uterus).
  • Pedunculated fibroids grow on small stalks inside or outside the uterus.
  • Submucosal fibroids grow just underneath the uterine lining and can lead to heavy bleeding and other more serious complications.

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Atlanta Fibroid Center
of Atlanta Interventional Institute
John C. Lipman, MD, FSIR
3670 Highlands Parkway SE
Smyrna, GA 30082

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