Why should I know about fibroids?

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

Fibroids are the most common tumor of the uterus.  It is very rare for fibroids to be cancerous.  Fibroids are most commonly seen in women in their 40's-60's and often times can have no symptoms at all.  The most common symptoms seen with fibroids are pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, pain with intercourse, heavy menstrual flow, abnormal uterine bleeding, and bowel and bladder urgency. 


About 20 percent to 80 percent of women develop fibroids by the time they reach age 50. Fibroids are most common in women in their 40s and early 50s. Not all women with fibroids have symptoms. Women who do have symptoms often find fibroids hard to live with. Some have pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Fibroids also can put pressure on the bladder, causing frequent urination, or the rectum, causing rectal pressure. Should the fibroids get very large, they can cause the abdomen (stomach area) to enlarge, making a woman look pregnant.

This answer is based on source information from The Federal Government Source for Women's Health Information.

You should know about fibroids because it is the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States, despite the fact that they are benign tumors. Women may unnecessarily undergo hysterectomy and suffer consequences that include depression, sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, bone loss, and an increased risk for heart disease. They need to be aware of excellent non-surgical options (ex. Uterine Fibroid Embolization) to treat fibroids as their healthcare provider may not mention these options to her.

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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.