What are fibroids?There are many instances of patients being found with uterine fibroids during a routine pelvic exam or a prenatal ultrasound. This is suspected by the doctor if she/he feels any irregularities in the shape of your uterus hinting at the presence of fibroids. In some cases, uterine fibroids are not even detected as they do not show/cause any symptoms at all. The abnormal growths developing inside/on a woman’s uterus are called fibroids. These can be symptomatic or asymptomatic depending on their sizes. For example, sometimes, these tumors can be pretty large causing even abdominal pain and, other times, they are too small to even be detected. Hence, there are no ranges for fibroids. They can be as small as seedlings and in other cases, they can be cumbersome leading to an increased uterus size expanding up to even rib cage in some cases. One can have a single fibroid or multiple counts. Most of these growths are typically benign, or noncancerous. The cause of fibroids is unknown.
Such tumors are usually benign i.e., they are not cancerous. There are no specific causes that we can link to fibroids and hence, it remains an idiopathic disease. Many names have been associated with Fibroids. Some of them are:
These uterine fibroids are formed of muscles and connective tissue from the uterine wall. These fibroids can grow as single nodules or can even grow in the form of clusters(groups). The sizes can range diversely from 1mm to >20 cm in diameter (8 inches). These can grow outside the uterus, within the wall of the uterus and also, inside the main cavity. On average, 4 to 8 women out of 10 have fibroids. However, most women don’t experience any symptoms and hence, they don’t even realize that they have fibroids as the fibroids are not even detected.
Types of Fibroids:
Fibroids are divided into 4 types depending on their respective location of occurrence:
Submucosal: These are the rarest types of fibroids as these are found in the myometrium