What is a uterine fibroid?

A uterine fibroid results when there is an overgrowth of smooth muscle leading to a benign (non-cancerous) tumor in the uterus. They are very common and may be present in up to 80% of women at some point in their lifetimes.

What causes uterine fibroids?

The exact cause of fibroids is not known, but hormones, age and race may play a role. Uterine fibroids are most common in women aged 30-40 years, but they can occur at any age. They also occur more frequently in women of color, often developing at a younger age and growing larger.

Signs of uterine fibroids

Symptoms vary by person. Some women have no symptoms of a uterine fibroid, while other may have heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure, painful cycles and infertility.

How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?

Uterine fibroids may be discovered during a physical exam. An ultrasound is a study that uses sound waves to create an image of the uterus and can provide a definitive diagnosis of fibroids. In some cases, an MRI may be helpful as well.

Uterine fibroid treatment

There are many options for treating uterine fibroids, and your doctor will recommend the best option based on your health goals, symptoms and the type, size or location of the fibroids, as well as your goals for future fertility.

In some cases, we may simply monitor you over time, using ultrasound to track any changes.

Some medical options can help with symptoms and possibly affect the growth of the fibroids. Procedures can reduce blood supply to the fibroids or remove the fibroids. In many cases, we can perform a minimally invasive surgery to remove the fibroids or the uterus itself.

A laparoscopic myomectomy, which is done to remove fibroids, is an outpatient procedure that requires only small incisions to allow small-diameter instruments to be placed into the abdomen. Minimally invasive surgery leads to less pain and blood loss with quicker recovery.

Why choose Ohio State for gynecologic care and minimally invasive surgery?

Our providers have finished additional years of medical training in advanced gynecologic and minimally invasive surgery. We have special expertise in treating uterine fibroids, even complex ones that have a more direct impact on the uterus itself, as well as advanced endometriosis, ovarian cysts and other complex conditions that may require laparoscopic and robotic surgery.

We know that it can be scary to learn you have a uterine fibroid, but our practice is dedicated to helping women through treatment with empathy, respect and partnership in decision making. We’ll take the time to explain your condition, discuss your concerns and find the right treatment for the best results.

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