Uterine fibroids refer to non-cancerous tumors which develop from the muscle layer of the womb's wall. Doctors also call them leiomyomas or myomas.

They are the most frequent benign growth and can have various sizes and locations. Fibroids can be located within the uterus wall (intramural), under its lining (submucosal) or under the outer layer (subserosal). In more rare cases they can develop in the cervix, ligaments or fallopian tubes. Sometimes fibroids may grow on a stem (pedunculated myoma).

The National Institute of Health reported that about 70% of women experience myomas by the age of 50. They occur during the reproductive years when estrogen is in the body in a high amount.

The exact causes of the development of fibroids are still unclear. However, specialists say that a family history plays an important role, as having a mother or sister with leiomyoma boosts your risk of this tumor.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

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It was found that African women are twice as likely to experience uterine fibroids.

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of leiomyoma. The other risk factors include smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, especially beer.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

Do you remember the age of your first menstruation? Doctors say that those who had menarche prior to 10 years old have higher chances of uterine fibroids occurring.

Estrogen levels become extremely increased during pregnancy, that's why myomas may become apparent and swell in this period of your life.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

In the majority of cases these benign tumors don't cause any symptoms. However, according to statistics about 25% of white women and nearly 50% of black women have symptomatic leiomyomas.

Myomas rank first in the causes of hysterectomy in the US. Beside uterus removal there is a wide variety of medications and other less invasive treatments for fibroids.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

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Though leiomyoma is a mainly asymptomatic overgrowth it can sometimes lead to uterine bleeding. If a fibroid tends to enlarge it can also cause urinary problems (increased frequency of urination), constipation, painful intercourse, pelvic pain and fertility problems.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

Your doctor can detect myoma accidentally during a routine pelvic exam. He or she would surely verify their diagnosis with special imaging methods like an ultrasound or pelvic MRI.

If your uterine fibroid doesn't cause any complaints and symptoms, your doctor can even leave it without drug or surgical treatment. He or she would accurately select the appropriate method of treatment, depending on the location, size and symptoms of your myoma.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

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