A fibroid is a solid tumor that contains mostly smooth muscle held together by fibrous tissue. (That's how it came by its popular name) Other names for fibroids are leiomyomas, myomas, fibromas, and fibromyomas.
Fibroids usually occur as multiple tumors that tend to grow very slowly. Sometimes, however, a woman may have single fibroid the size of a grapefruit or even one so large that it fills the entire abdomen. Fibroids are grayish white, firm, round, and ring shaped. Fibroid tumors are one of the most common gynecological complaints. For the majority of women, fibroid symptoms are minor or nonexistent, but 40 percent of women who have fibroids experience such symptoms such as an enlarge uterus, abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, and infertility.
Nobody actually knows why fibroids develop. But doctors do know that estrogen can trigger fibroids and may make the fibroids grow more quickly. Just as estrogen triggers the uterine lining, or endometrium, to grow and thicken during the estrogen peak in the menstrual cycle, it also triggers the myometrium to grow and thicken, which is where the fibroids are located.
After menopause, the fibroids will usually shrink, and if you're...