What are Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths. They can appear within the wall of the uterus, called an intramural fibroid, as well as inside or outside of the uterus. While these abnormal growths rarely increase your risk for cancer, they can sometimes cause uncomfortable or even painful symptoms that should be treated. Visit these pages on our site for more information from Fibroids MD:
Causes of Uterine Fibroids
There is still a lot that we do not understand about uterine fibroids, which makes it hard to prevent them. Hormones are a factor in how many and how large they grow. Fibroid size is affected by both estrogen and progesterone, both of which are essential to menstruation and reproduction. These growths are more common during and after childbearing years and can grow much faster during pregnancy. However, they tend to shrink or disappear completely after menopause when hormone levels drop significantly.
Who Is at Risk?
While hormones directly affect their growth, there are certain factors that we know affect a woman’s risk of experiencing uterine fibroids.
- Age – the risk for fibroids increases as you get older until you reach menopause, when they usually shrink.
- Weight – being overweight increases your risk for developing fibroids and those who are considered obese may have an even higher risk.
- Diet – studies indicate that a diet high in red meat and ham increases risk while including healthy green vegetables can lower it.
- Family History – if you have a close family relative who has experienced uterine fibroids, the chances that you will develop them increases significantly.
- Ethnicity – statistics show that African American women have higher rates of fibroids than Caucasian women.
If you have fibroid symptoms and are at risk, or if you have been diagnosed, contact Fibroids MD online or call us at (212) 254-0149 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Karl Zhang. An FDA-approved uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) procedure may provide a non-surgical option.