Uterine fibroids come from the muscle layer of the uterus.
Fibroids occur when the cells from the muscle layer grow in unusual ways. They can be different sizes and shapes, and grow in different places. Fibroids may grow inside the uterus, deep in the layers of the uterus, outside the uterus, or be attached to a stem-like structure. Some are very big, and some can only be seen with a microscope. Fibroids usually grow one by one, but sometimes they grow in groups. They can grow slowly, quickly, or even stay the same size, but they are not cancerous.
Uterine fibroids are common, in fact, it is estimated that 1 out of every 4 or 5 women over the age of 35 has them. No one really knows why some women get fibroids and some women do not, but it is believed that the estrogen may increase the growth of fibroids. While they can occur in women of any age, fibroids are more common in women who are between the ages of 30 and 40. African American women also tend to have fibroids more frequently.
Most women who have fibroids do not notice any symptoms, but some do. Changes in your period, such as: heavier or longer periods, more frequent periods, or pain during your period may be symptoms of uterine fibroids. Other symptoms may include bleeding from your vagina that is not related to your period, pain in your pelvis, abdomen, or lower back; pressure on your bladder, or difficulty becoming pregnant. The more fibroids you have, the worse these symptoms can be, but remember; many women with fibroids experience no symptoms at all.
If you are having problems that your doctor thinks are caused by fibroids, he or she will discuss with you the best way to remove them, and answer any questions you may have.