Uterine fibroids Information

A uterine fibroid is a benign tumor that originates from the smooth muscle layer and the accompanying connective tissue of the uterus. Fibroids are the most common benign tumors in females and typically found during the middle and later reproductive years. While most fibroids are asymptomatic, they can grow and cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, and urinary frequency and urgency. Uterine fibroids is the major indication for hysterectomy in the US. Fibroids are often multiple and if the uterus contains too many leiomyomatas to count, it is referred to as uterine leiomyomatosis. The malignant version of a fibroid is uncommon and termed a leiomyosarcoma.

About 20-40% of women will be diagnosed with leiomyoma. The condition is about twice as common in black women as white women. Estrogen receptors on fibroids cause them to respond to estrogen stimulation during the reproductive years. During hypoestrogenic states, such as after menopause, leiomyoma are expected to shrink. Leiomyoma are more common in overweight women .

Leiomyomas grossly appear as round, well circumscribed , solid nodules that are white or tan, and show whorled appearance on histological section. The size varies, from microscopic to lesions of considerable size. Typically lesions the size of a grapefruit or bigger are felt by the patient herself through the abdominal wall.

Wikipedia, Uterine fibroids, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uterine_fibroids (as of Apr 9, 2010)

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