29-01-2015

What are uterine fibroids?

 

Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumours that develop on the surface or the inside of the uterine muscle.

In many women, the presence of uterine fibroids goes completely unnoticed. In others, the location and the size of these benign tumours can significantly impair quality of life.


The volume of a uterus at seven months pregnant !

The size of fibroids can vary from the size of a walnut to that of a melon, or even larger in some cases! To measure their size, doctors usually refer to the size of the uterus during pregnancy. Some patients suffering from fibroids have had a uterine volume that reached the size of a uterus at six or seven months pregnant !


Three types of fibroids

Uterine fibroids are classified by their location in the uterus. Three main types exis :

Intramural fibroids
account for 70% of all fibroids. They form in the muscle layer of the lining of the uterus and they can sometimes be confused with weight gain or pregnancy. The symptoms associated with this type of fibroids are heavy menstrual bleeding, frequent urination, pelvic pain and back pain.

Subserosal fibroids develop in the outer part of the uterus and continue to grow outwards. These fibroids generally do not affect menstrual flow. However, they may result in severe pain due to their size and their pressure on other organs. In some cases, subserosal fibroids become detached from the uterine muscle. These are called pedunculated subserosal fibroids.

Submucosal fibroids are the rarest type of fibroids and develop in the uterine cavity. They cause excessive bleeding during menstruation and prolongation of the menstrual cycle. As with subserosal fibroids, they may detach from the uterine muscle. In this case, they are also called pedunculated submucosal fibroids.
 

Generally, a woman hosts a multitude of fibroids. In some cases, she may also develop several types of fibroids at the same time (intramural, subserosal and / or submucosal).
It is difficult to determine which fibroid is causing a symptom. Even if a single fibroid is detected by the doctor, it is prudent to consider that there are several others (source SFICV).
 

What are the symptoms?

Who is affected?

 

The information on this website is not exhaustive and it is available primarily for the purpose of general information. It is in no way intended to replace a consultation with a healthcare professional and it constitutes neither directly nor indirectly, a medical consultation.