What are fibroids?

Fibroids in the uterus are the most common benign tumor which mainly affect women between the ages of 35 and 50, as they are hormone-dependent in their growth. A genetic predisposition and hormonal stimulation are currently suspected to be the causes of fibroids. The benign tumors may not be dangerous, but they can have a severely detrimental effect on the quality of a woman's life.

Fibroids may be extremely small, but they can also grow to the size of a honeydew melon. A number of fibroids often develop at the same time.

The following are forms of fibroids:

  • "Intramural " – if they grow within the uterine muscle layer
  • "Subserosal" – if they grow
    on the outside of the uterus under the outer uterine skin (serosa)
  • "Submucosal" – if they grow directly under the uterine mucosa
  • "Intracavitary" – if they grow
    into the cavity of the uterus
  • "Pedunculated fibroid" – if they grow on a stalk outside of the uterine wall

Around 20-40% of all women of childbearing age have fibroids – they are often undetected. Only around 1 in 3 of those affected have symptoms such as:

  • Heavy and prolonged uterine bleeding
  • Pressure on the urinary bladder with the frequent urge to urinate
  • Pelvic, leg or back pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Involuntary childlessness or even miscarriages

These symptoms occur if the fibroid presses against adjacent organs or nerve endings as a result of its growth and impairs their function.

Fibroid treatment should only be initiated if these symptoms occur.