Fibroids

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are common benign tumours of the wall of the uterus (the muscle). As many as 1 in 4 women will have a fibroid. Most of these will be small, around a few centimeters.

Fibroids in the wall of the uterus (intramural fibroids) or outside of the uterus (subserosal fibroids) may cause symptoms if they grow to a large size (more than 5cm). They may put pressure on structures around the uterus such as the bladder or bowel, causing frequent urination or constipation.

Occasionally they cause pain. This is generally caused by the fibroid outgrowing its blood supply and starting to degenerate. Some fibroids may be pedunculated, or on a stalk. These can twist and cause pain.

Symptoms

Most fibroids will not cause any issues. Fibroids impacting on the inside of the uterus (submucous fibroids) may cause heavy menstrual bleeding. These fibroids can also cause infertility or miscarriage.

Fibroids have a 0.1% (1 in a 1000) risk of turning in to a cancer (leiomyosarcoma). Fibroids that are very large, rapidly growing, or in women having undergone radiotherapy are more at risk of this. Large fibroids in women in the menopause are also at greater risk.

Treatment

Many fibroids do not require treatment. When treatment is required, the fibroids may be removed through the cervix (hysteroscopic fibroid resection), laparoscopically (laparoscopic myometomy), or through a laparotomy (horizontal incision on the abdomen).

How we can help

If you think you may have fibroids and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

Further reading

Aceso blog

Further information

Symptoms

Heavy periods

Typically women may menstruate (bleed) for 2-5 days, and lose around 30-40ml of blood. Abnormally heavy bleeding is when: your periods last longer than 7 days; the volume is more than 80ml; there is flooding or clotting; you are anaemic. Find out more

Prolonged periods

If your period lasts more than 7 days, you have prolonged bleeding. The term is often used synonymously with menorrhogia (heavy bleeding), but is more descriptive of periods that go on for an annoyingly long time. Find out more

Procedures

Fibroid removal

Many fibroids do not require treatment. When treatment is required, the fibroids may be removed through the cervix or through small incisions on the abdomen. Find out more