Where can fibroids grow?

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Fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus. They grow in the 3 distinct portions of the uterus. Those that are found centrally near the cavity of the uterus and along the uterine lining are called submucosal. Those that grow in the muscular part of the uterus are called intramural, and those that grow near the edge of the uterus under the outer surface are called subserosal.

Most fibroids grow in the wall of the uterus. Doctors put them into three groups based on where they grow:

Submucosal (sub-myoo-KOH-zuhl) fibroids grow into the uterine cavity. Intramural (ihn-truh-MYOOR-uhl) fibroids grow within the wall of the uterus. Subserosal (sub-suh-ROH-zuhl) fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus.

Some fibroids grow on stalks that grow out from the surface of the uterus or into the cavity of the uterus. They might look like mushrooms. These are called pedunculated (pih-DUHN-kyoo-lay-ted) fibroids.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Fibroids are benign noncancerous tumors of the uterus.  They can grow inside the uterine cavity, which is called a submucosal fibroid.  They can grow on the outer lining of the uterine cavity called a subserosal fibroid or they can grow in the muscle wall of the uterus called an intramural fibroid.  There are often times where the fibroids can grow in the ligaments surrounding the uterus as well as they can be on a stalk coming off the serosal edge of the uterus, which is called a pedunculated fibroid.  Submucosal fibroids are the most common culprits of heavy menstrual bleeding due to the fact that they grow in the uterine cavity.  Intramural fibroids are the most common fibroids that cause pain with periods due to the fact that when a patient is on her menstrual cycle her uterine muscle contracts to help expel the menstrual blood flow out the cervix and into the vagina, and because their is a fibroid growing in the muscle wall, this can cause a significant amount of pain.  Patients with subserosal fibroids often times are unaware that they have fibroids and the only way to diagnose this is through a gynecologic exam and possibly an ultrasound of the pelvis.

Continue Learning about Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

If you have uterine fibroids, you may never even notice that they are there. Ranging from the size of a small seed to grapefruit-sized, fibroids are tumors on the uterus that rarely cause harm. Some women have true discomfort with ...

fibroids, including pain in the abdomen or low back, or pain during sex. Sometimes, uterine fibroids can cause miscarriage, preterm labor, or even lead to infertility. Women in their 40s and 50s, women of African-American descent and women that are overweight are at higher risk of developing fibroids, although an estimated 20-80% of women will have them at some point before they turn 50. If your doctor notices fibroids during an ultrasound or pelvic exam, he or she may want to treat them with medication or surgery.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.