Marteasha Gordon,Rebecca Lugo, Rooznikchy Thomas, and Dominique Zawackis Chamberlain College of Nursing
Uterine leiomyomas also known as fibroids or myomas, are the most common pelvic
benign tumor that affect 70%-80% of women. Uterine fibroids are round or semi-round growths
of smooth muscle of the myometrium and fibrous tissue. The growths can be located in the
uterine cavity, uterine wall, or on the surface of the uterus into the abdominal cavity. Also,
fibroids can occur as a single tumor or in clusters. They can vary in size and usually grow slowly
over years. Uterine fibroids are stimulated by oestrogen and are estrogen and progesterone
sensitive. Uterine fibroids are described by their location and are classified in three categories;
intramural, subserosal, submucosal (What are fibroids? what are the treatments for fibroids,
2009). Women between the age of 30 and 50 are the most likely to develop fibroids. Also about
1 in 5 women may experience fibroids during their childbearing years. Studies have shown
about half of all women have developed fibroids by the age of 50 (Uterine fibroids fact sheet
2008). Fibroids are two to five times higher in black and Asian women than Caucasian women.
Fibroids are more common in women who are overweight and nonsmokers. Pregnancy and the
use of oral contraceptives both decrease the likelihood of development. Uterine fibroids are the
leading cause for hysterectomy.
The cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but research and clinical experience point to several factors that may influence the growth of uterine fibroids. Overweight and obese women have demonstrated a higher risk of developing fibroids, compared to women of normal weight. A family history of fibroids increases the risk of uterine fibroids. Race and ethnicity impacts the possibility of fibroids since they are more common in African-American women and are even seen at a younger age. Age is also a risk factor. Fibroids are most common in women who are their 30s through early 50s and tend to decrease in size after menopause. Nulliparity has been linked to uterine fibroids. In addition, studies have demonstrated a direct correlation of fibroids and early onset of a menses prior to age 10. Progestrone and estrogen have been associated with fibroids since they contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal uterine myocytes. According to Huether & McCance, “risk factors include…PCOS, diabetes, and hypertension” (p. 811).
Fibroids are benign tumors that develop from the smooth muscle cells in the myometrium in the uterus. Most of the tumors occur in multiples in the fundus of the uterus. They are classified as), Subserosal (fibroids that grow on the outside of the uterus and can sometimes push against the bladder), submucousal (when the fibroids grow into the inner cavity of the uterine wall), or intramural (when fibroids grow within the muscular uterine wall), all is according to the location and the various layers of the uterine wall are effected. They are usually firm and surrounded by a psuedocapsule composed of compressed but otherwise normal for the uterine myometrium. Also, degeneration may occur if there is lack of blood supply to the tumors and it can also grow if the blood supply is increased, the larger tumors usually do cause pain(Huether, S., & McCance, K. 2012, p.811). Some causes for fibroids can be genetic and hormones. Many uterine fibroids contain changes in the genes that are different to the normal uterine muscle tissues. There has also been some evidence found in families with identical twins where both twins would have fibroid verses fraternal twins they wouldn’t both have fibroids. Also, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone play into effect with the growth of fibroids. This is because these hormones stimulate the development of the uterine wall during the menstrual cycle...
References: Huether, S., & McCance, K. (2012). Understanding pathophysiology. (5th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elvsevier Inc.
Fibroids In-Depth Report. (2008). Retrieved from
Uterine fibroids. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine- fibroids/DS00078
Uterine fibroids fact sheet. (2008). Retrieved from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our- publications/fact-sheet/uterine-fibroids.com
“What are fibroids? what are the treatments for fibroids?" Medical News Today.(2009).
Retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151405.php
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