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Conditions

Uterine Fibroids

Many women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives. An estimated 20% to 50% of women of reproductive age currently have fibroids, and up to 77% of women will develop fibroids sometime during their childbearing years.

Women's HealthCare of Dothan
Dothan, Alabama Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dothan, Alabama Obstetrics, Gynecology, Labor & Delivery, Prenatal Exams

Definition

Fibroids or Uterine Fibroids are noncancerous growths made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. These growths develop in the uterus during childbearing years and can appear alone or in groups. Uterine Fibroids do not indicate an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer.

What to Know About Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids can range in size, from as small as a seed that is undetectable by the human eye to as large as a melon. A large fibroid can enlarge and distort the uterus or grow into the uterine cavity or outward from the uterus on stalks.

You might not know you have uterine fibroids because they often cause no symptoms. Your doctor may discover fibroids incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound. Only about one-third of these fibroids are large enough to be detected by a health care provider during a physical exam, so they are often undiagnosed.

Who is at risk for uterine fibroids?

There are several risk factors that can play a role in your chances of developing fibroids. Women in their reproductive age are most likely to be affected by fibroids.

Black women are more likely to develop fibroids than other women, they are diagnosed at younger ages and they more often require treatment. It is not clearly understood why fibroids disproportionately affect Black women. Other risk factors may include:

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Obesity and a higher body weight

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Family history of fibroids

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Diet high in red meat

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Early onset of menstruation

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High blood pressure

Additional Resources

Learn more from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists