Fibroids are benign, non-cancerous growths in or on the walls of the uterus. They can range from less than an inch around to more than six inches. African-American women and those with a family history are most likely to develop fibroids.
Most fibroids cause no symptoms and are only discovered when a woman has a routine pelvic examination. If you do experience fibroid symptoms, they may include:
- Heavy, prolonged monthly periods, sometimes with clots
- Fatigue, secondary to a low blood count
- Pain or pressure between the hip bones or in the back of the legs
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Frequent need to urinate
- Constipation or bloating
- An enlarged belly
Treatment options for uterine fibroids can include medical treatment with birth control pills, surgical treatment to remove the uterus (hysterectomy), or a minimally invasive procedure called uterine fibroid embolization.