Fibroids are growths of tissue that are usually found in the wall of the uterus, or womb. They are made of a mixture of muscle tissue from the uterus and threadlike fibers of connective tissue.
Although they are called tumors, fibroids are not cancerous. Fibroids usually shrink after menopause. New fibroids do not develop before puberty or after menopause.
Fibroids are very common. They occur in 2 or 3 out of every 10 women over age 35. They occur most often in women between ages 30 and 50, although women in their 20s sometimes have them.
It is common to have more than one fibroid. Some women may have as many as a hundred. Fibroids can be as small as a pinpoint or as large as a basketball. They are usually round or oval in shape, like a ball or an egg. Their texture is firm, like an unripe peach.
Medical names for a fibroid are leiomyoma, myoma, and fibromyoma.
Fibroids can grow in different parts of the uterus. They are named according to which part of the uterus they are found
Fibroids that grow inside the wall of the uterus are called intramural fibroids. They are the most common type of fibroid.
Fibroids that grow outward from the wall of the uterus into the abdominal cavity are called subserous or subserosal fibroids.
Fibroids that grow inward from the uterine wall, taking up space within the cavity of the uterus, are called submucous or submucosal fibroids.
A fibroid that is attached to the uterus by a thin stalk is called a pedunculated fibroid.
Facts about fibroids