What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus. There are 4 primary types of fibroids: intramural, subserosal, submucosal, and pedunculated. It is common for a woman to have multiple types of fibroids.
Intramural fibroids are the most common type of fibroids, which usually grows within the uterine wall then expand from there. When these fibroids expand, they make the uterus feel enlarged and are often mistaken for pregnancy or weight gain. Other symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged menstrual cycles, pelvic pain, and frequent urination.
Subserosal fibroids usually grow on the outer uterine wall, which can continue to grow outward. The increased size will put pressure on surrounding organs causing pelvic pain and pressure. These type of fibroids do not usually cause excessive bleeding.
Submucosal fibroids develop under the lining of the uterine cavity, which can block the fallopian tubes when they increase in size and can cause complications with fertility. These are the least common type of fibroids. Some women will experience no symptoms while other women will experience heavy and prolonged menstruation.
Pedunculated fibroids grow on a stalk, which can grow into the uterus or outside of the uterine wall, resulting in pedunculated submucosal or subserosal fibroids. Some women will experience pain and pressure due to the fibroids twisted on the stalk.