Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is not the best option for every woman with uterine fibroids. If you want to have children, then you would want to avoid this treatment. Likewise, if you don't have symptoms of uterine fibroids, or your fibroids are small, you may have better results from pain medications or hormone treatments. Health care providers are also exploring less-invasive surgical treatments for fibroids that save the uterus.
Most women who have fibroids do not have problems with fertility and are able to get pregnant. In some cases, fibroids can prevent a woman from getting pregnant through natural methods. However, advances in treatments for fibroids and infertility have greatly improved the chances for a woman to get pregnant, even if she has uterine fibroids.
Health care providers consider a number of things when recommending treatment for fibroids, including:
Does the woman have symptoms of uterine fibroids?
Does she want to become pregnant?
How large are the fibroids?
What is the woman’s age?
Currently, we know little about what causes uterine fibroids. Scientists have a number of theories, but none of these ideas explains fibroids completely. Most likely, fibroids are the end result of many factors interacting with each other. These factors could be genetic, hormonal, environmental, or a combination of all three. Once we know the cause or causes of fibroids, our efforts to find a cure or even prevent fibroids will move ahead more quickly. Most of the time, fibroids grow in women of childbearing age.
Uterine fibroids are tumors or lumps made of muscle cells and other tissue that grow within the wall of the uterus. Fibroids may grow as a single tumor or in clusters. A single fibroid can be less than one inch in size or can grow to eight inches across or more. A bunch or cluster of fibroids can also vary in size.