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Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids are growths of solid muscle tissue in the uterus. They are common and occur in almost half of all women over the age of forty. Most are only the size of a walnut, although occasionally they grow quite large. Many women have hysterectomies because of them. There are three types: submucous accounts for about 5%. This type may cause abnormal bleeding and protrude from the cervix. Subserous accounts for a large percentage. It can become pedunculated and is rarely parasitic. Intramural is also common and may cause the uterus to grow larger. This problem is more common in women of African descent.

Symptoms

Symptoms of fibroids include a feeling of heaviness or pressure in the abdomen, bleeding between periods, low back pain, pain during intercourse, urinary frequency or incontinence, cramping, bowel difficulties and severe menstrual flooding and pain. It is not certain whether their presence in the uterus links to infertility.

Causes

The causes of fibroids are unknown, but estrogen helps them grow. They disappear after menopause when estrogen levels drop.

Cautions

In some cases, a fibroid will grow attached to a long stalk. This is one that is pedunculated, and it may twist and cause the blood vessels to get kinked. Surgery may be needed in this case. If you experience similar symptoms, you should seek medical advice.

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