Uterine fibroids otherwise known as leiomyomas are benign/ non cancerous growths in the uterus which usually appear during the child bearing age in the females. The fibroids are composed of same lining as of the uterus but are a bit dense then the uterine lining.
The fibroids are never associated with predisposition of cancer and never turn malignant/ cancerous. There could be single fibroid or more then one as well and the size may vary from a seedling to large enough to enlarge the size of uterus and become palpable. Mostly women have no symptoms from the fibroid and spend almost normal life with them but in some cases they trouble a lot.
In many cases uterine fibroids are accidentally diagnosed during a pelvic examination or ultrasound.
Risk factors for development of fibroids:
Age: the risk of developing fibroids increases with age upto the menopausal age as fibroids are oestrogen dependant. After menopause there in natural production of oestrogen decreases and the fibroids shrink afterwards.
Oral contraceptive pills: much use of OCPs increase the risk of development of fibroids.
Obesity: obese women are more prone to development of fibroids.
Race: black women are three times more vulnerable to development of fibroids.
Family history: those who have family history of fibroids are more likely to develop fibroids.
Types of fibroids:
Depending on the location; fibroids can be of following types:
Subserosal fibroids: are located beneath the outer most layer (serosa) of the uterus.
Submucosal fibroids: are located in the uterine cavity beneath the inner most layer of the uterus (mucosa).
Intramural fibroids: are located within the wall of the uterine lining.
Pedunculated fibroids: can grow inside or outside of the uterus but are attached through a stalk to the uterus.