Uterine Fibroids

IU Health gynecologists review the body systems, listen to patients’ concerns and provide the best treatment possible for these conditions

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

Highly-skilled Indiana University Women’s Health physicians collaborate to provide the best care and treatment for your individual needs.

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

  • Most fibroids will cause you 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

Cause

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.

If you have a family history of fibroids, this can increase your risk of developing them. In addition, women approaching menopause and obese women of African American heritage have a higher chance of developing fibroids, for reasons unknown.

Prevention & Diagnosis

Preventive healthcare, including an annual visit with a women’s healthcare provider can 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.

Routine pelvic examinations most often detect fibroids. Other diagnostic procedures may include:

Overview

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

  • Most fibroids will cause you 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

Cause

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.

If you have a family history of fibroids, this can increase your risk of developing them. In addition, women approaching menopause and obese women of African American heritage have a higher chance of developing fibroids, for reasons unknown.

Prevention & Diagnosis

Preventive healthcare, including an annual visit with a women’s healthcare provider can 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.

Routine pelvic examinations most often detect fibroids. Other diagnostic procedures may include:

Your IU Health provider will help you choose the right treatment for you based on your medical history, the extent of the disease and your desire for pregnancy. Your physician may offer one of the following treatment options:

Treatment

Your IU Health provider will help you choose the right treatment for you based on your medical history, the extent of the disease and your desire for pregnancy. Your physician may offer one of the following treatment options:

Patient Stories for Uterine Fibroids

Resources

Resources