Uterine fibroids are benign growths or tumors in or just outside of a woman’s uterus. They are very common in women over 30. Because most fibroids are small, many women never develop symptoms or even know they have fibroids. A fibroid’s growth is typically dependent on estrogen, which is why women in their 30s and 40s are more commonly affected. Fibroids usually resolve after a woman goes through menopause due to lower estrogen levels.
Some women with uterine fibroids experience symptoms including:
Treatment options for uterine fibroids
- Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy – In this minimally invasive procedure, fibroids are accessed and removed through several small incisions in the abdomen. This minimally invasive surgery results in less pain, less blood loss and a quicker recovery than typical open surgery
- Hysteroscopic fibroid resection – Fibroids are removed from the uterine lining through the vagina using an instrument called a hysteroscope
- Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy – In this minimally invasive procedure, the uterus is removed through four small abdominal incisions while keeping the cervix in place
- Endometrial ablation – This procedure destroys the uterine lining with heat and is often performed to reduce heavy or abnormal uterine bleeding sometimes caused by uterine fibroids
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) - A non-invasive procedure where small particles are injected into the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroids, effectively cutting off the blood supply to promote shrinkage of the tumor