Uterine fibroids are abnormal masses of smooth muscle tissue that grow in and around the uterus and occasionally in the cervix.
The Universidad de Navarra Clinic explains that women with uterine fibroids often do not experience symptoms. Patients that receive a diagnosis may encounter abdominal masses, abnormal uterine hemorrhaging, pain in the pelvis or in the lower abdomen, lower back pain or urinary symptoms.
Some of the risk factors for developing a fibroid or uterine fibroid include being between 30 and 40 years old, being overweight or obese and never having given birth. These tumors are benign in most cases. Malignant tumors are called leiomyosarcomas, which can be treated surgically or through hormones.
The exact cause of fibroids is unclear, but evidence suggests that they can be hereditary or can arise as a result of their dependence on estrogen.
It is not always necessary for people given this diagnosis to get surgery or receive other types of treatment. If the uterine fibroid presents without symptoms, regular exams will be needed.
Keep in mind: while the cause of uterine fibroids has not been determined, most cases occur during a woman’s reproductive age.