Uterine fibroids are very common, noncancerous growths in the uterus that are often diagnosed during a gynecologic exam. Both ultrasound and MRI are imaging tools that can confirm the presence of fibroids.
Uterine fibroids can cause:
- Heavy, excessive menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding in between period
- Pelvic pain and pressure
- Urinary incontinence and frequency
As much as 40% of premenopausal women have uterine fibroids and of those women, up to one third are symptomatic and experience heavy and prolonged menstrual periods. The Society for Interventional Radiology (SIR) reports that more than 600,000 women in the US are diagnosed with uterine fibroids each year, and 30% of those women undergo hysterectomy for the treatment of fibroids. New research reveals many of those women could have been treated by much less invasive means, such as uterine artery embolization, thus avoiding surgical removal of the uterus.
Due to the high prevalence of fibroids, it is important for women to be familiar with the presenting symptoms and all of the treatment options.