Fibroids are smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. They are one of the most common benign uterine tumors among women. In fact, some studies suggest that 25% - 75% of all women may have fibroids, although only about 20% ever have symptoms.
Overview and SymptomsSymptoms might include abnormal bleeding, pain, bad cramping or pelvic pressure. Fibroid compression on the surrounding pelvic structures can cause bladder pressure, frequent urination, constipation or general discomfort and fullness. The symptoms can be mild or they can be so severe that they interfere with daily activities.
A variety of treatments exist, ranging from doing nothing in the asymptomatic patient to the most extreme — hysterectomy or the surgical removal the uterus and fibroids. Falling in between are other mostly conservative and minimally invasive treatments:
- Birth control pills, as well as other hormones, are among the most common medical treatments for fibroid .
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy is an incision-less procedure where a small camera is inserted into the womb to resect the fibroid.
- Uterine artery embolization which cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids.
- Mirena IUD is a small contraceptive device that releases small amounts of the hormone progestin to reduce bleeding.
- Endometrial ablation is a minor, same-day procedure, performed in the hospital, that also decreases bleeding.
- Minimally invasive surgical options, such as a total laparoscopic hysterectomy or laparoscopic myomectomy, may provide a timely and definitive cure of fibroid symptoms.
Learn MoreThe Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at BIDMC provides outstanding care for all women throughout their lives, in a friendly, comfortable and safe environment.