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Fibroids are a non-cancerous growth that occurs in a woman's uterus. Fibroids can be small or large and can develop quickly or take years to be detectable. They are an extremely common condition, with 70 to 80 percent of women experiencing them by are 50.
All symptoms are usually dependent on the size and location of the fibroid in the uterus.
Women who have fibroids in the inner cavity of the uterus or within the muscular uterine wall usually have heavy menstrual bleeding during their period. Additionally, their period may be extended, lasting longer than seven days. They may experience pelvic pressure or pain as well. For a woman who has a fibroid on the outside of the uterus, she may experience constipation, frequently needing to urinate, backaches and leg pain, and difficulty emptying the entire bladder.
Unfortunately, doctors do not know the underlying cause of uterine fibroids. However, changes in genetics, overproduction of hormones, and an abundance of insulin-like growth factor seem to have an effect on the presence of fibroids.
Other risk factors for fibroids include obesity, having other women in your family with fibroids, menstruating at an early age, eating a lot of red meat and not a lot of green vegetables and fruits, and high levels of alcohol and/or caffeine consumption.
Because fibroids are not usually harmful, your doctor may suggest just waiting to see if your symptoms worsen before trying to treat them. However, for women with persistent symptoms, the doctor may recommend medications to regulate your menstrual cycle, as these may help shrink the fibroids.
Other treatment options include both noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures to remove the fibroids as well as traditional surgery.
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