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Facts you should know about uterine fibroids

  • Uterine fibroids (leiomyomas) are benign (non cancerous) muscle knots of the wall of the uterus

  • They are the most common cause of hysterectomy in the country

  • 2/100 women have fibroids of the uterus by age 25, and at least 1-3/10 by age 45, o one study showed that if microscopic fibroids are included uterine fibroids were found over 75% of the time in the specimen of the uterus at the time of hysterectomy. Latinas may be at risk as well.

  • Having been pregnant can partially protect you against ever having uterine fibroids

  • Women with relatives who have fibroids have double the risks of having them, one study of women under the age of 30 showed that almost a quarter of women who were black and only just over 5% of women who are white have uterine fibroids.

  • The heavier you are the greater likelihood that you will have fibroids

  • Oral contraceptive pills do not cause fibroid growth and those who have used oral contraceptives consistently have a third less chance of ever having fibroids

  • Oral contraceptive pills can manage pain and bleeding from fibroids, as can a progesterone IUD

  • High consumption of red meat increases the risks that you are going to have fibroids, green vegetables will decrease the risk of ever having uterine fibroids

  • If you are a big exerciser then you are less likely to have fibroids: studies set the cut off at 7 hours per week for "heavy exercise"

  • Neither birth control pills nor menopausal hormones will increase fibroids in the most recent studies

  • This is what is called a pedunculated fibroid.

  • Fibroids can occur in the uterine lining, the wall of the uterus or hanging off the surface. In this picture the fibroid is attached to the side of the uterus.

  • Fibroids can grow in pregnancy, shrink in late pregnancy, are more common in women with early puberty, and they do partially shrink in menopause

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