My Medical Learning Center


Uterine Fibroids - A Common Problem for Women

It is estimated that as many as 77% of women may have uterine fibroids.  Many of these women have the condition without knowing it (Cramer & Patel 1990).  For women who are aware of their condition, the pain and symptoms of uterine fibroids can be just awful.

Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

If you suffer from the following symptoms, it is possible that you have uterine fibroids:

  • Painful periods
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pelvic pressure (a sense of feeling “full” in the lower abdomen)
  • Frequent urination (results from a fibroid pressing on the bladder)
  • Pain during sex
  • Lower back pain
  • Reproductive problems, such as infertility, multiple miscarriages, and early onset of labor during pregnancy

    What Causes Uterine Fibroids?


    Science has not yet identified the cause of uterine fibroids.  What medical researchers have discovered, however, is that African American women are 3-5 times more likely to develop them than Caucasian women.  Overweight women are also more prone to uterine fibroids.  Women who have given birth are less likely to develop uterine fibroids than those who have not.  Despite these observations, there are no definitive answers as to what causes uterine fibroids or who will have them.  Genetics, hormones and/or environmental conditions may be contributing factors.

    A Quick Look at Uterine Fibroids

    Uterine fibroids are tumors that grow within the wall of the uterus.  A single fibroid might be less than an inch in size, or it might grow to 8 inches or more!  Fibroids may grow as a single tumor or in clusters.  A cluster of fibroids will also vary in size.

    There are a number of treatments for uterine fibroids.  It is best to consult with your health care practitioner first, to discover if you have fibroids and then to explore the best treatment option.