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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Uterine Fibroids
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System

Uterine Fibroids

Alternate Names : Leiomyoma, Myoma, Fibromyoma

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A uterine fibroid is a noncancerous growth in the wall of the uterus. A fibroid can be any size from microscopic to as large as a cantaloupe.

What is going on in the body?

Fibroids are firm, round lumps that often occur in groups on the uterine wall. They are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. Fibroids usually grow very slowly in the wall of the uterus. They respond to increased levels of estrogen, one of the female hormones. Increased hormone levels in some conditions can increase the rate of the fibroid's growth. These conditions include the following:

  • hormone replacement therapy for menopause
  • oral contraceptives, or birth control pills
  • pregnancy
  • After menopause, fibroids may shrink or disappear completely.

    What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    No clear cause of uterine fibroids is known. Research indicates that fibroids may be influenced by estrogen and progesterone, but hormones are not the cause of fibroids. Fibroids are diagnosed in black women two to three times more often than in white women.


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    Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/09/01

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