Fibroids, what are they?

Fibroids, what are they?

Fibroids are benign abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. These growths are the most common benign tumors in women (Sohn et al., 2018). At least 70% of white women and over 80% of African women are diagnosed with fibroids during their lifetime (Giuliani et al., 2020), and black women have a higher risk of developing more-severe fibroid forms (Stewart et al., 2016).

Fibroids are asymptomatic in approximately 30% of women worldwide (Giuliani et al., 2020). When fibroids are symptomatic, surgical and interventional radiology procedures are prescribed (Giuliani et al., 2020). The most-reported fibroid symptoms are abnormal uterine bleeding, anemia, pelvic pain and pressure, back pain, urinary frequency, and infertility (Giuliani et al., 2020).

The associated risk factors may be classified as modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.

  • Modifiable risk factors are those unhealthy lifestyle choices such as diet, caffeine and alcohol consumption, physical activity, stress, and smoking (Pavone et al., 2017).
  • Non-modifiable risk factors include age, race, reproductive history, and hormonal factors (Pavone et al., 2017).

Studies have shown that most women delay seeking solutions for fibroids (Fortin et al., 2017). This delay is a problem because fibroids account for one-third to half of all hysterectomies, and causes substantial morbidity and health care costs (Stewart et al., 2016).

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