What are uterine fibroids and what causes them?
Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors, usually non-cancerous, that can be found in the uterus. They can range in size, sometimes growing to the size of a grapefruit.
Experts can’t say with certainty what causes uterine fibroids. What we do know is that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone control their growth.
What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids may not cause symptoms. But in many cases women may experience heavy menstrual bleeding, frequent urination, or pain in the lower back. It’s usually these symptoms that lead women to call their doctor.
How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects your symptoms may be caused by fibroids, he may order an imaging test known as an ultrasound to confirm and diagnose. Ultrasound imaging (also known as sonography) is performed by passing harmless, high-frequency sound waves through the body to produce images. An ultrasound scan of the uterus would show the existence, placement, and size of a uterine fibroid.
How are uterine fibroids treated?
Treatment of uterine fibroids will depend on the specifics and severity of the diagnosis. Some uterine fibroids are treatable with medication, while others may be treated through surgery or medical procedures. There are also innovations in medicine that are currently being tested through clinical trials for uterine fibroid treatment.