A uterine myoma is a benign growth of smooth muscle in the wall of the uterus.
Description of Uterine Myomas
A uterine myoma (myoma uteri) is a solid tumor made of fibrous tissue; hence it is often called a ‘fibroid’ tumor. Myomas vary in size and number, are most often slow-growing, and usually cause no symptoms. Myomas that do not produce symptoms do not need to be treated. Approximately 25% of myomas will cause symptoms and need medical treatment.
Myomas may grow as a single nodule or in clusters and may range in size from 1 mm to more than 20 cm in diameter. Myomas are the most frequently diagnosed tumor of the female pelvis and the most common reason for a woman to have a hysterectomy. Although they are often referred to as tumors, they are not cancerous.
• Heavy and prolonged bleeding
• Pelvic pain or pressure
• Weight gain or an abnormally enlarged abdomen
• Pressure on the bladder or bowel
• Pain in the back of the legs
• Pain during sexual intercourse
What Causes Myoma?
The cause of myomas has not actually been determined, but most uterine myomas develop in women during their reproductive years. Myomas do not develop before the body begins producing estrogen. Myomas tend to grow very quickly during pregnancy when the body is producing extra estrogen. Once menopause has begun, myomas generally stop growing and can begin to shrink due to the loss of estrogen.
Until recently, hysterectomy was the preferred option for treating symptomatic fibroids. Now, however, there are a number of uterine fibroid treatments including the noninvasive, outpatient MR guided Focused Ultrasound myoma treatment.