Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus. Fibroids can grow on the inside of the uterus, within the muscle wall of the uterus, or on the outer surface of the uterus.

Many women who have uterine fibroids do not have symptoms. When symptoms are present, they are usually mild and may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as heavier, longer periods or bleeding between periods.
  • Pelvic pain, including pain during sex.
  • Low back pain that does not go away.
  • Urinary problems.

Occasionally uterine fibroids may cause more serious problems, such as infertility, blockage of the urinary tract or bowels, or anemia.

Home treatment can usually relieve and control the mild symptoms of uterine fibroids. Medications or surgery may sometimes be needed if uterine fibroids are causing severe symptoms or other complications.

Last Updated: August 11, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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