Uterine Fibroids

female13.jpgUterine fibroids are benign tumors that commonly develop on the muscle tissue of the uterus. Forming as a single tumor or multiple tumors, fibroids develop in approximately 25% of all women over 35 years of age. African-American women are at a higher risk of developing uterine fibroids. It is possible for the tumors to grow into the uterine cavity, which is referred to as sub-mucous fibroids; or in or outside the uterine wall.

Depending on the type and location of the fibroids will determine the symptoms one will experience. Symptoms range from abdominal pain and pressure on the bladder and rectum to heavy bleeding, infertility and even miscarriage.

Treatments vary depending on the size and number of tumors present and age. Generally, a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy, which is the removal of both ovaries, is performed on women over 40 years of age. Younger women who wish to preserve their fertility and have only small fibroids have the option of having a myomectomy, which only removes the fibroids and leaves the uterus intact. A myomectomy is a very complex surgery that carries a number of risks including significant blood loss that requires a blood transfusion, as well as other postoperative complications. Hysterectomies are more common and often times more recommended by gynecologists.