Fibroids - fast facts

24 July 2013

At some time in their lives approximately 3 out of four women will have fibroids or myomas - tumours within the muscle of the uterus which are usually benign (not cancerous). Their exact cause is something of a mystery, but their growth is thought to be related to the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. They are also known to be hereditary. The good news is fibroids usually shrink after menopause.

How they appear:

  • They are a smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. 
  • They can either bulge outwards or inwards or can be found in the wall of the uterus.

Most fibroids are small and don’t cause any symptoms but with greater numbers of fibroids and larger tumours the more common symptoms are:

  • painful periods 
  • a lump or swelling in the stomach heavy 
  • menstrual bleeding 
  • constipation 
  • passing urine frequently 
  • pain during sex 
  • lower back pain

Like many “women’s issues” we are still not sure of the effect fibroids have on fertility but it is thought that fibroids inside the uterus can prevent the egg from implanting correctly potentially leading to recurrent early miscarriages.

Solutions:

  • medications 
  • new less invasive techniques for removal of fibroids 
  • in extreme cases hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus).

Dr Paul Stokes and his Sunshine Coast gynecological specialist team consult with you to find the right solution dependent on your age, fertility needs and desired outcome.