Katie Adon has a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and works as a nurse in London. She is very passionate about her career and loves to share her knowledge. Katie is a wife, and mother to three adorable boys. She mostly author’s the OWF Medical Corner articles on Women’s Health.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb (uterus).
The growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and vary in size. Lots of women are unaware they have fibroids because they don’t have any symptoms. Women who do have symptoms may experience:
- heavy periods or painful periods
- tummy pain
- lower back pain
- the need to urinate often
- pain or discomfort during sex
In rare cases, complications caused by fibroids can affect pregnancy or cause infertility. See your doctor if you have persistent symptoms of fibroids so they can investigate possible causes.
The exact cause of fibroids is unknown. However, they’re linked to the hormone oestrogen. Oestrogen is the female reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries. Fibroids usually develop during a woman’s reproductive years when oestrogen levels are at the highest. They often shrink when oestrogen levels are low, such as after the menopause.
WHO GETS FIBROIDS?
Fibroids are common with around 1 in 3 women developing them at some point in their life:
- They most often occur in women aged 30 to 50 years old.
- They are thought to develop more frequently in women of African and Caribbean origin.
- It’s also thought that they occur more often in overweight or obese women because being overweight increases the level of oestrogen in the body.
- Women who have had children have a lower risk of developing fibroids, and the risk decreases further the more children you have.
Treatment for fibroids is not needed if they are not causing symptoms. Over time, fibroids will often shrink and disappear without treatment, particularly after the menopause. If you do have symptoms caused by fibroids, medication will usually be recommended first. If these do not work, surgery or other less invasive procedures may be recommended.
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Also see DEPRESSION