What Are Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids affect millions of women each year.

With common symptoms like an enlarged uterus, excessive menstrual bleeding, and debilitating pain, uterine fibroids are anything but easy to live with.

In fact, for many women, fibroids can disrupt their everyday life and cause significant strain during their monthly menstrual cycles.

At Houston Fibroids, we understand that fibroids can affect much more than just your physical health, especially if they alter your appearance or negatively impact your daily life.

The good news is that there are advanced uterine fibroids treatment options to end symptoms without the need for extensive surgeries or extended hospital stays.

As experts in fibroid care, we take a full-body, comprehensive approach to uterine care.

If you’re experiencing symptoms or have recently been diagnosed with fibroids, our team is here to help.

Start a fibroid-free future with us today.

Let’s discuss uterine fibroids in more detail, including a more comprehensive answer to the common question, “what are fibroids?” below. 

So, What Are Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are common, non-cancerous tumors found on or in the uterus.

They can vary in size from as small as a grape to as large as a cantaloupe and can measure between 1 mm to over 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter.

Fibroid Types

There are five main types of fibroids. All fibroids consist of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that attach to the uterus in some way.

The five types include:

  1. Subserosal: One of the most common types of fibroids, which grows outside the uterus.
  2. Intramural: These fibroids develop within the muscular uterine wall.
  3. Pedunculated: This fibroid type grows separate from the uterus and is attached by a stalk-like growth to the outer surface or inside the uterus.
  4. Submucosal: These fibroids are considered the least common and develop under the lining of the uterine cavity.
  5. Calcified fibroids: A type of fibroid tumor that has hardened due to the accumulation of calcium deposits. This can cause the fibroids to become less pliable and more difficult to remove, leading to symptoms such as pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and infertility.

Although uterine fibroids directly impact the uterus, they have not been linked to an increased risk of developing uterine cancer.

Fibroid Symptoms

Now that we have the answer to the question “what are fibroids,” let’s discuss their symptoms in more detail.

Fibroid symptom type and severity differ from person to person and may include:

It is important to note that although most women experience symptoms of fibroids, a small number of those affected may not realize they have fibroids until they receive an ultrasound examination during pregnancy.

Causes and Risk Factors

The direct cause of fibroids is still widely unknown, but various factors increase your chances of developing them, including:

  • A family history of fibroids
  • Your age, especially for women between the ages of 30 and 40.
  • Your race, especially if you are African American or Hispanic
  • Obesity
  • The age you started your period
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • A diet high in red meat
  • Regular alcohol consumption

Uterine Fibroid Treatment

Various treatment options are available to eliminate symptoms by complete fibroid removal.

Common treatments include:

  • Hormone-based medications
  • Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization
  • Endometrial Ablation
  • Myomectomy

In rare and severe cases, a hysterectomy may be recommended.

For women who do not experience any symptoms, most fibroid specialists will follow a “wait and watch” approach to see if fibroids shrink on their own.

Effective Uterine Fibroid Treatment in Houston

If you have been diagnosed with fibroids or are experiencing symptoms impacting your daily activities and quality of life, you should consider uterine fibroids treatment immediately.

Many minimally-invasive options are available to help you effectively eliminate symptoms.

Contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment to begin a fibroid-free future.

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