Answers to Some Common Questions

Fibroids are typically noncancerous tumors that grow in the muscle walls of the uterus.¹
Studies have found that up to 80 percent of women will have uterine fibroids by age 50.¹
Symptoms related to fibroids can range from heavy bleeding, menstrual pain, frequent urination, trouble conceiving and more.² If you suffer from these symptoms and think they may be caused by fibroids, talk to a doctor.
Not all fibroids come with symptoms. In fact, it’s very common for women to have asymptomatic fibroids.² If fibroids do not present symptoms or negative implications for a woman’s health, they may not have to be removed. Women should consult their doctor to determine the best path forward.
Fibroids can affect a woman’s ability to conceive.² If women are facing reproductive trouble, they should talk with a doctor to explore diagnostic tests, which help to determine the cause for infertility.
While there is no causal link between genetics and fibroids, research findings lead physicians to believe there is a genetic component to a woman’s susceptibility to developing fibroids.³ Having a family member with fibroids increases risk – if your mother had fibroids, your risk of also experiencing them is roughly three times higher than someone who does not have fibroids in her family.¹
Advances in medicine have led to a number of treatment options–including non-surgical methods like birth control pills or IUD, as well as minimally invasive surgeries like laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation, laparoscopic myomectomy, and hysteroscopic myomectomy.¹,4 Treatment for fibroids depends on the size, volume and severity of fibroids, as well as a woman’s health and lifestyle preferences.
Heavy periods, or abnormal uterine bleeding, are periods that have excessive or prolonged bleeding. You may fall into this category if you notice you are changing pads or tampons after less than two hours, passing blood clots larger than a quarter, needing to wear more than one sanitary product to prevent an accident, avoiding your usual activities and/or missing work because of your period.5
It is estimated that 1 in 5 women experience heavy periods.¹ Women who are overweight and/or have a hormonal imbalance are at higher risk for heavy periods.6
Unpredictable cycles that vary in flow from month to month are common, especially as a woman approaches her menopausal years.7,8 Heavy bleeding should still be discussed with your doctor, even if it doesn’t occur every month.
Fibroids, polyps and hormonal imbalances are common causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, in addition to other illnesses and disorders, such as von Willebrand disease or pelvic inflammatory disorders.5

No! A variety of treatment options exist, from lifestyle changes to minimally invasive procedures like tissue removal, endometrial ablation, and laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation. Visit our page on treatment options for more information and talk to your doctor about your options.

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  1. Office on Women’s Health. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Uterine Fibroid Fact Sheet. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids. Accessed March 10, 2021.
  2. Mayo Clinic. Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms & Causes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/symptoms-causes/syc-20354288. Accessed March 10, 2021.
  3. Eggert SL, Huyck KL, Somasundaram P, et al. Genome-wide linkage and association analyses implicate FASN in predisposition to uterine leiomyomata. Am J Hum Genet. 2012; 91(4):621-628. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.08.009
  4. Mayo Clinic. Uterine Fibroids: Diagnosis & Treatment. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354294. Accessed March 10, 2021.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/women/menorrhagia.html. Accessed March 10, 2021.
  6. Mayo Clinic. Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menorrhagia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352829. Accessed March 10, 2021.
  7. Mayo Clinic. Menstrual cycle: What’s normal, what’s not. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186. Accessed March 10, 2021.
  8. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Frequently Asked Questions: Perimenopausal Bleeding and Bleeding After Menopause. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Perimenopausal-Bleeding-and-Bleeding-After-Menopause. Accessed March 10, 2021.