The fact is that approximately 80% of black women and 70% of white women will develop benign tumors in the walls of their uterus after the age of 50. Most often the growths are so small that women often don’t know that they have them. But larger fibroids can be uncomfortable, painful and cause infertility.
When do fibroids grow – Usually fibroids will develop in a woman’s childbearing years and appear once they are in their mid-30’s.
The most common symptom – Since fibroids grow in the wall of the uterine, most women will have irregular bleeding and heavy periods.
Growth – As a fibroid grows larger, a person may feel pressure on their abdomen or feel like they have a mass on their pelvis. Another symptom includes frequent urination as some fibroids press on the bladder. Some fibroids can cause kidney damage as they compress the tubes that carry urine to the bladder.
Fibroids and pregnancy – Very large tumors can restrict blood supply and cause a lot of pain. Some large tumors will move into the uterine cavity and cause infertility and miscarriages because the egg will find it difficult to implant itself in the womb. Fibroids will also increase the risk of cesarean section, preterm delivery, and placental abruption, which can sometimes cause life-threatening bleeding.
Treatment – Visit your ob-gyn and ask for a routine pelvic exam if you suspect that you have fibroids. Most often this will be followed with an ultrasound or a MRI to confirm if any fibroids are present.