Healthsheet

What Are Fibroids?

What Are Fibroids?

Fibroids are round growths of muscle in the wall of your uterus. They are almost always noncancerous (benign) and harmless. Fibroids start as pea-sized lumps, but can grow steadily during your reproductive years. Many fibroids just need to be monitored. Others may require treatment if they become too large or cause symptoms.

Front view of cross section of uterus with fibroids. Fibroid on top outside of uterus is connected to uterine wall by stalk (pedunculated). Fibroid extending from uterine wall into uterine cavity is submucosal. Fibroid inside uterine wall is intramural or subserosal.
Where Fibroids Can Grow

Potential Problems

Fibroids often cause no symptoms. But a fibroid that grows quickly in your uterus can cause one or more of the following problems:

  • Excessive uterine bleeding, leading to anemia (lack of red blood cells)

  • Frequent urge to urinate

  • Difficulty having bowel movements

  • Achiness, heaviness, or fullness

  • Back or abdominal pain

  • Pain during intercourse

  • Difficulty getting pregnant or being unable to get pregnant

  • Problems with pregnancy

Treatment Is Tailored for You

No two fibroids are the same. The type of treatment you will have depends on their number, size, location, and rate of growth. Your treatment decision also depends on the severity of your symptoms and whether or not you plan to have children in the future. There are a growing number of effective ways to treat fibroids. After your medical evaluation, your doctor will be able to discuss with you the best options to solve your particular problem and meet your needs.

Your Future Checkups

Treating your fibroids is likely to relieve your symptoms. But your doctor will want to monitor your progress. Ask your doctor about any additional follow-up visits you might need.


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