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Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are very common noncancerous growths in the muscular wall of the uterus that can range from pea-sized to larger than a cantaloupe. Often, there can be more than one fibroid.

Most fibroids cause no symptoms; however, if you do experience fibroid symptoms, they may include:

  • Heavy, prolonged monthly periods
  • Anemia (fatigue due to low red blood count)
  • Pain or pressure in the pelvis
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Constipation or bloating
  • Enlarged belly

It is not known exactly what causes uterine fibroids. Estrogen tends to stimulate the growth of fibroids in many cases. Uterine fibroids can greatly increase in size during pregnancy, but will shrink back afterward.

Family history of fibroids can increase your risk of developing fibroids yourself. In addition, women who are approaching menopause and obese women who are of African American heritage are more likely to develop fibroids. The reasons for this are not understood.

Preventive healthcare, including an annual visit with a women’s healthcare provider, is important to catch health problems as early as possible. During this visit, your Indiana University Health gynecologist will review your body systems, listen to your concerns and perform a pelvic and breast exam.

Fibroids are most often found during routine pelvic examination. Other diagnostic procedures may include X-ray, transvaginal ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and biopsy.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Uterine Fibroids Treatment Information

Your IU Health provider will help you choose the treatment that is right for you based on your medical history, the extent of the disease and your desire for pregnancy. Learn more about the following treatment options:

Uterine Fibroids Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

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Uterine Fibroids Support Services

Resources for women who are experiencing uterine fibroids are available from a variety of organizations.