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What You Need to Know About Fibroids

Though fibroids are fairly common, many women don’t understand what they are or how they can be treated. The symptoms of fibroids can be extremely painful and often go undiagnosed because their symptoms are attributed to other causes. During Fibroid Awareness Month, we wanted to shed light on the symptoms, treatments, and risks of uterine fibroids.

What are Fibroids?

Fibroids are benign tumors that grow in or around the muscular part of the uterus and can range anywhere from the size of a seed to a grapefruit. Though fibroids are most commonly found in women ages 30 to 50, they can occur in women of any age. Studies show that nearly 80% of women will develop fibroids by the time they reach menopause.


Your symptoms can depend on how many fibroids you have and what size they are. Fibroids can grow as a single growth or in a cluster. Pelvic pain and pressure with dull aches or sharp pains in the lower abdomen is a common symptom of fibroids, but other symptoms may include:

  • Heavy menstruation and bleeding
  • Longer menstruation cycles
  • Constant urination
  • Constipation
  • Pain during intercourse.

Since many of these symptoms are attributes of other things, these symptoms often cause fibroids to be overlooked, ignored, or misdiagnosed.

Diagnosing and Treating

Doctors begin diagnosing fibroids by reviewing medical history, discussing symptoms, and performing a physical exam to determine the condition of the uterus and to identify any abnormalities. Fibroids can be treated or removed depending on your case. Anything from medications, ultrasound surgery, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery can be used to remove fibroids. Your doctor will review your specific case and inform you of your options.

Risks and Prevention

Some people are more at risk than others for developing fibroids. Factors that can increase your likelihood of fibroids, include:

  • Race – Black and Hispanic women are more likely to develop fibroids.
  • Genetics – You have family members who have been diagnosed with fibroids.
  • Environmental influences – Eating too much red meat, drinking alcohol in excess, use of birth control, or lack of vitamin D could cause fibroids.

Though fibroids are not necessarily preventable, studies have found that leading a healthy lifestyle can help manage or reduce your symptoms. These healthy habits include:

  • Eating a nutritious diet full of vegetables, fruits, iron, and fiber.
  • Exercising regularly .
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Avoiding too much caffeine and sugar.
  • Taking vitamin D supplements.

As always, it is important to speak to a doctor as soon as you notice abnormal symptoms or changes in your body. If you have questions or concerns about fibroids, Greenville Women’s Care is here to help you! Your health is important to us – schedule an appointment with one of our providers today!