What is a myoma (fibroid)?

A myoma, commonly known as a fibroid, is a benign (noncancerous) tumor that develops in or around the uterus. Fibroids are medically known as leiomyomas and are tumors of the smooth muscle, the tissue that normally makes up that wall of the uterus.

Fibroids are a common condition that affects approximately 20% of childbearing women. African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to develop the disease, as are women who are over 30 years of age, are overweight or obese, or have never given birth (Source: PubMed).

The fibroids may appear as one large fibroid or many small fibroids. Their cause is not known; however, they appear to be associated with the presence of estrogen. During childbearing years when a woman’s estrogen levels are high, fibroids slowly increase in size. But during menopause when a woman’s estrogen levels are low, fibroids rarely occur.

The symptoms of fibroids may occur frequently or only occasionally. The disease course varies among individuals. Some women have no symptoms at all, while others have abdominal pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, difficulty urinating, or pain during sexual intercourse. A fibroid can grow large enough to put pressure on the bladder, making it difficult to expel urine and eventually causing infection.

Medications, hormones, and surgical procedures are effective in reducing symptoms or in removing the fibroid completely.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as uncontrollable vaginal bleeding, dizziness, rapid heart rate (tachycardia), or fainting or loss of consciousness.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for uterine fibroids but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.


SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of a myoma (fibroid)?

Fibroids may not produce symptoms. In other cases they may cause abnormal bleeding or discomfort. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Common symptoms of fibroids

You may experience fibroid symptoms daily or only occasionally. Any of these symptoms can be severe:

CAUSES

What causes a myoma (fibroid)?

The cause of fibroids is not known; however, their development seems to be associated with the female hormone, estrogen. Fibroids appear during the childbearing years when a woman’s estrogen levels are high.

What are the risk factors for a myoma (fibroid)?

A number of factors increase the risk of developing a fibroid. Not all people with risk factors will develop a fibr... Read more about myoma (fibroid)causes

TREATMENTS

How is a myoma (fibroid) treated?

Treatment for fibroids begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine whether you have fibroids, your health care provider will ask you to undergo diagnostic testing.

Some women with fibroids never have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, however, you may be asked to undergo a pelvic examination and an Read more about myoma (fibroid)treatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 6, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.