What Are Fibroids?

What are uterine fibroids?

Fibroids are benign growths (non-cancerous) in or around the uterus. Fibroids can range in size from a grape to a grapefruit and may cause uncomfortable symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding and painful periods. These symptoms may worsen over time if the fibroids are left untreated.

Fibroids are common. 

  • In the US, around 70% of white women and more than 80% of black women will have uterine fibroids before the age of 50 2,3
  • Each year in the US, more than 2 million women undergo treatment for uterine fibroids3
  • 20%-50% of women with fibroids have symptoms4
  • 62% of women will experience more than one symptom5

Women with fibroids may experience one or more of the following symptoms:4

  • Heavy periods (heavy menstrual bleeding)
  • Pressure or swelling in the abdomen
  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Constipation
  • Infertility
  • Painful sex

1 Farquhar CM, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2002;99:229-234
2 Baird DD, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;188:100-107
3Medtech Insight, January 2005
4 Stovall DW., Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2001;44:364 – 71
5 Olufowobi O, Sharif K, Papaionnou S, et al., J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004;24:434–4040