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Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms, Causes & Risks

Fibroids in the uterus are benign (non-cancerous) growths. They develop from the muscle tissues of your womb (uterus). They usually appear in or on the uterus during childbearing years. Your doctor may call fibroids by names like myomas, fibromas, or leiomyomas.

It’s important to know that uterine fibroids are not linked to the risk of developing uterine cancer. They can grow with time and cause severe stomach pain along with some other symptoms.

Signs & Symptoms

Most fibroids can go asymptomatic and don’t require therapy other than some regular tests. Even, if you develop this condition during or after menopause, you may not go through severe symptoms. Fibroids may get smaller automatically after menopause. This is because menopause leads to a drop in the levels of hormones like progesterone and estrogen that help in fibroid growth.

Symptoms may include the following.

●     Period changes

○     Longer or shorter menstrual cycles

○     Pain during menstruation

○     Vaginal bleeding or spotting

○     Anemia due to excessive blood loss

●     Pressure

○     Abdominal pressure

○     Constipation

○     Rectal pain

○     Difficulty in bowel movements

○     Difficulty in urination

○     Frequent urination

●     Pain

○     In the abdomen

○     In the lower back

○     During sexual intercourse

○     In the pelvis


It’s not clear what actually causes uterine fibroids in women. A variety of reasons may, however, influence their growth.

●     Genetic changes: Fibroids can be a result of some genetic changes in the cells that line your uterus. This might be possible also because of the family history of uterine fibroids (having the mother, sister, or aunt with this condition).

●     Hormones: Certain hormones like progesterone and estrogen help in the growth of fibroids in your womb. A rise in their levels may contribute to this condition. Other hormones may also impact the formation of fibroids.

●     Other growth factors: A number of growth factors like growth hormone (somatotropin) and epidermal growth factor stimulate the fibroid growth in your uterus.

●     Extracellular matrix (ECM): ECM is a large network of certain molecules that support the structure of tissues in your body. They can trigger the growth of fibroids in the woman’s womb.

Risk Factors

Besides the causes, many risk factors contribute to the development of fibroids in or on the uterus.

●     Race and age

●     Period onset at an early age

●     Using birth control pills

●     Vitamin D deficiency

●     Alcohol abuse

●     Family history

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