Uterine fibroids are more common than most people think. These oft benign growths of smooth muscle tissue in the uterus affect about 70% of reproductive-age-women, making them the most common solid pelvic tumors found in women.
However, of the some 600,000 hysterectomies performed each year in the United States, about 250,000 are performed as uterine fibroid treatments to help women overcome some of the more extreme symptoms that fibroids sometimes cause.
The truth is that doctors are still unsure what causes fibroids, but they have found that there are some factors which increase the likelihood of their development. Here are just a few.
Like so many other medical conditions, fibroids often run in the family. If your sisters, mothers, aunts, or anyone else in your family have developed fibroids or had to undergo uterine fibroid treatments, then you have an increased risk of developing them.
Researchers have found that African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than other racial groups. What’s more, it seems that African-American women also develop them at younger ages, and are more likely to develop larger fibroids, which means they stand a higher risk of experiencing the symptoms of fibroid cysts, and are more likely to need uterine fibroid treatments.
According to the Mayo Clinic, diet seems to play a role in the development of fibroids. If you tend to eat more red meat than most, eat less green vegetables and fruit, and drink alcohol — including beer — you’re at a higher risk of developing fibroids.
Fortunately, it’s very uncommon for women to experience any signs and symptoms of fibroids. If these tumors are so frequently benign, why then do so many women need to have them treated? About a quarter of women who have them experience a problem; if they do cause any problems, there are a number of different uterine fibroid treatments available that can help.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.