Uterine fibroids are benign growths that develop in the wall of the uterus, part of the female reproductive system, the organ where a fetus develops (also referred to as the womb). About 20%-30% of women of childbearing age—and possibly as many as half of all women—have fibroids. Many do not realize it, and do not develop symptoms until their late 30s or 40s.

These tumors often grow into the uterine cavity. In rare cases, fibroids may protrude outside of the uterus toward nearby organs. Fibroids vary in size from very small, one inch or less (the size of a pea), to eight or more inches in diameter (the size of a grapefruit). These growths are not cancerous. Usually more than one fibroid is present.

Uterine Fibroid

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The cause of fibroids is unknown. There is likely a complex interaction between genes, hormones, and environmental factors that cause these growths to occur in the uterus.

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