Uterine fibroids are almost always non-cancerous. Rarely (less than one in 1,000) a cancerous fibroid, known as a leiomyosarcoma, will occur; however, benign fibroids are not thought to turn cancerous.
There are various risk factors associated with fibroids, including family history. Women with a history of fibroids within their family are at a higher risk of developing the same condition compared to those who don’t have this family history.
It may take a while before a woman is diagnosed because fibroids don’t always show symptoms. Uterine fibroids are often discovered incidentally when performing pelvic imaging for other reasons.
Almost 1 in 4 women in the UK wait on average 5 years before receiving treatment for fibroids. Your doctor will discuss various tests which can be performed to confirm a fibroids diagnosis.
A good indication of heavy menstrual bleeding is if you need to use an unusually high number of tampons or sanitary towels, or if you experience bleeding through your clothes or bedding. If you are concerned, make sure you visit your GP who can advise on suitable treatment options.
Uterine fibroids may be associated with difficulties in becoming pregnant and it is important to discuss available treatment options with your doctor. They will make treatment recommendations based on your individual circumstances and advise on available options.
Your doctor will discuss the treatment options available that are suited to your individual circumstances. There are various options which may include medication, non-invasive treatment options and invasive surgery. For more information on treatment options, click here.
There are various types of hysterectomy. A total hysterectomy (the removal of the entire uterus including the cervix) is the only definitive treatment for fibroids because removal of the cervix and uterus eliminates existing fibroids and prevents them from ever re-occurring.
After all hysterectomies it is not possible to get pregnant and this should be considered before undergoing the procedure. There are other options to treat fibroids, including medicines and non-invasive procedures. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment option based on your individual circumstances. For more information on treatment options, click here.