Leiomyomata or uterine fibroids are growths that develops on or inside a woman’s womb. Those growths aren’t cancerous. Uterine fibroids develop when a uterus muscle cells start growing abnormally, so they eventually form a benign tumor. Uterine fibroids are very common. In fact, many women have it at some point in their life. In many woman uterine fibroids are too small, so they are undetected and they don’t cause any problems. Scientists still don’t know what cause uterine fibroids, but they believe that their growth is linked to female hormone, estrogen. In many cases, they develop after age 30. They don’t develop before puberty. When estrogen levels fall, uterine fibroids shrink and disappear. This usually happens after menopause.

African-American women can have uterine fibroids two to three times more often than white women, and they have more symptoms. Other factors that can cause uterine fibroids are: pregnancy (women who had children have higher chances of uterine fibroids development), early menstruation (girls who had their first period before age 10) and family history. Women who are taking birth control pills have less chance to develop uterine fibroids. There are 4 different types of uterine fibroids. They are: Myometrial fibrosis, Submucosal fibroids, Subserosal fibroids and Pedunculated fibroids.

In many cases, uterine fibroids don’t cause any symptoms, so women usually don’t know to have them. But in a case when they cause symptoms, they can be: heavy bleeding during periods, prolonged menstrual period, fullness or bloating in the belly, pain in the pelvis or belly, constipation or pain with intercourse. Large and moderate uterine fibroids are usually felt when a doctor performs the manual pelvic examination. After that, the imaging test is needed, in order to confirm. 

 

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