What are fibroids?
Fibroids, also known as uterine fibroids, leiomyomas, or myomas, are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus.
Who is at risk?
Since uterine fibroids are the most common tumors within the female reproductive system, all women are at a potential risk of developing them. The majority of uterine fibroids are diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 54. However, fibroids can occur in women younger than 35.
What does the research say?
- Studies demonstrate the prevalence of fibroids in 20-40% of women older than 35 years of age.1
- Evidence suggests that African-American women are three times more likely to develop uterine fibroids2-4 than other women, with an earlier age of onset.5
- Most clinicians believe fibroids shrink when a woman goes through menopause.
- Wallach EE. Myomectomy. In: Thompson JD, Rock JA, eds. Te Linde’s Operative Gynecology, 7th ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1992; pp 647-662.
- Baird DD, Dunson DB, Hill MC, Cousins D, Schectman JM. High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: Ultrasound evidence. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;188:100–107.
- Marshall LM, Spiegelman D, Barbieri RL, et al. Variation in the incidence of uterine leiomyoma among premenopausal women by age and race. Obstet Gynecol. 1997;90:967–973.
- Wise LA, Palmer JR, Stewart EA, Rosenberg L. Age-specific incidence rates for self-reported uterine leiomyomata in the Black Women’s Health Study. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;105: 563–568.
- Huyck KL, Panhuysen CI, Cuenco KT, et al. The impact of race as a risk factor for symptom severity and age at diagnosis of uterine leiomyomata among affected sisters. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;198:168 e161–169.