Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that can grow in and on the uterus, causing abdominal pain, pressure, constipation and heavy periods. Many people with uterine fibroids won’t notice any symptoms at all.
Uterine fibroids vary in size, shape and rate of development. They may be invisible to the human eye or they may become large masses that distort the uterus. Some continue to grow while others stay the same. The exact cause is unknown but uterine fibroids are believed to develop from a stem cell in the uterine wall.
It is currently not clear how to prevent uterine fibroids from developing. In the majority of cases, fibroids do not interfere with quality of life or cause noticeable symptoms. However, if fibroids are causing pain or trouble with getting pregnant, treatment is available. This may include:
- Medications to balance hormones
- Non-invasive procedures involving MRI-guided techniques
- Surgery to reduce or remove the fibroids