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Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) growths found in the walls of the uterus (womb). They are a common condition affecting many women.

Fibroids are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and vary in size. It's possible to have more than one fibroid. There are different types of fibroids depending where they are growing in your womb.

We don't know exactly what causes fibroids. However, they have been linked to the hormone estrogen which is produced by the ovaries.

You're more at risk of fibroids if you:

Symptoms of fibroids

Fibroids often cause no symptoms, or just minor ones. If a fibroid grows over time, though, it can cause symptoms such as:

Rarely, fibroids can cause problems with getting pregnant.

If you think you may have fibroids you should make an appointment to see your GP.

Diagnosing fibroids

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, and will examine your pelvis. They may refer you to a hospital specialist called a gynaecologist.

Other tests may include an ultrasound scan, or a hysteroscopy which is when a gynaecologist passes a small tube, which has a camera, through your vagina and cervix to allow the doctor to look inside your womb. Sometimes they'll do a laparoscopy, where a similar tube and camera is inserted into your tummy (abdomen) through your belly button. You can read more about laparoscopy in this leaflet.

Treating fibroids

If your fibroids cause no symptoms then you don't need any treatment. If they're causing a problem, treatment will depend on the type of fibroid, size and how many fibroids you have. Treatment options may include medication or surgery. Your doctor will discuss the different options with you.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created September 2021.

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Review key: HIFIB-876980