Facts About Fibroids - PIH Health

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Published on September 28, 2016

Facts About Fibroids: Factors, Symptoms and Treatment Options


FobroidsNot all tumors are created cancerous— in fact, muscular tumors known as, uterine fibroids, are almost always benign. In fact, according to WomensHealth.gov, an estimated 20 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids by age 50.

“Women in their early 40s and 50s should be cautious of any signs or symptoms as they are more susceptible to developing fibroids,” says PIH Health physician, Julia Beryl Willner MD. “If fibroids are found, there are several treatment options that can help ease any pain or discomfort.”

Your doctor can go over treatment options with you depending on the type of fibroids you have.

Types of Fibroids

According to WebMD, fibroids are categorized based on the location of the uterus:

  • Submucosal fibroids: Below the uterine lining.
  • Intramural fibroids: Between the muscles of the uterine wall.
  • Subserol fibroids: Extend from the uterine wall into the pelvic cavity.


These factors may influence risk:

  • Age: Most common in women in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
  • Genetics: Risk is three times higher for women whose mothers have fibroids.
  • Ethnicity: Fibroids are more common in African American women.
  • Diet: Red meat and ham have been linked to contributing a higher risk of fibroids.
  • Obesity: Fibroids are more common in overweight women. In fact, incidence is two to three times more likely.


Though not all women experience symptoms, some fibroid indicators can be pain in the uterus, heavy menstrual bleeding and, depending on the size of the fibroids, frequent pressure on the bladder or rectum. If fibroids are found, you will need to have regular pelvic exams with your doctor to monitor size and symptoms. Your doctor will let you know how often you will need a check-up based on your initial exam.

Treatment Options

Location, symptoms, the amount and size of fibroids are all factors that your doctor will consider when determining the best treatment option for you. Treatment options depending on your specific case can include surgery either to remove the fibroid or the entire uterus (hysterectomy), medications to help control fibroid symptoms or simply monitoring the fibroid to track growth.


Although there is no proven way to prevent fibroid growth, a recent study highlighted in WebMD stated that regular exercise may help reduce the risk of getting fibroids. It would also be wise to incorporate less red meat and ham in your diet as they are known contributors to uterine fibroids.

If you are experiencing abnormal symptoms and think you may be at risk for uterine fibroids, schedule an appointment with your doctor today. For local residents, visit Dr. Willner’s profile here to make an appointment or call 562.789.5423.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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