What are uterine fibroids?
A uterine fibroid is a benign tumour that grows from the muscle tissue that makes up the uterus. They are also called leiomyomas or uterine fibromyomas.
It is a very common tumour, especially after 30 years of age.
Genetic inheritance plays a part, and it is usually associated with high oestrogen levels.
What is the most appropriate treatment?
Fibroids should be treated when they start to cause symptoms: abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, menstrual disorders, problems in becoming pregnant and/or anaemia.
The treatment options run from correcting the symptoms that the fibroids are causing (e.g. treating anaemia) up to removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) in extreme cases.
The fibroid itself can be removed (myomectomy).
Current treatments include high-frequency ultrasound (HIFU) and embolisation of the uterine arteries to reduce the blood supply to the fibroid as much as possible.