Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that can grow in or around the uterine cavity. They can range in size from a couple of millimeters to large enough to fill the uterus.
Many women are unaware that they have fibroids as they do not have any symptoms. One 1/3 women with fibroids do experience symptoms, with excessive menstrual bleeding being the most common. Other symptoms include pain, discomfort during intercourse, constipation and frequent urination.
If the fibroids are small and not causing any symptoms then treatment may not be necessary and with time they often shrink or even disappear altogether. If you do have symptoms, there is medication that can be taken to help reduce the size of the fibroid. In some cases surgery may be necessary.
Uterine fibroids most often occur between the ages of 30-50 years old, but can be found in women younger and older. As women are now having babies later in life, which is when fibroids can occur more frequently then this may impact on your chances of conceiving. If you are experiencing any symptoms, go and see your doctor, early diagnosis and treatment could help prevent fibroids affecting your fertility.
The reason why fibroids develop is not fully known although is linked to the hormone estrogen.