Topics: Uterus, Menstrual cycle, Menopause Pages: 2 (654 words) Published: November 18, 2005
A fibroid is the most common tumor found in the pelvis. Such tumors develop most often between the ages of 35 and 45 years, hardly ever before age 20. most fibroids occur in women of reproductive age; they are diagnosed in African American women two to three times more frequently than in Caucasian women. It is currently believed that obesity has a lot to do with fibroid development. Because fat cells make estrogen, women who are obese are more prone to estrogen-dependent conditions, which include fibroids. Usually a fibroid in the uterus where it is the most common form of uterine mass. A fibroid can also develop on another structure that contains smooth muscles cells. It can even invade another organ when it grows too large to confine itself to its original location.

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...
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