A Gynecologist's Second Opinion:
The Questions & Answers You Need to Take Charge of Your Health
(Second Edition, Revised)
by William H. Parker
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What are FIBROIDS ?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop within or attach to the wall of the uterus. Known also as leiomyomas,fibromyomas, myomas, or simply fibroids, uterine fibroids are the most common pelvic tumor.
The cause of uterine fibroid tumors is unknown. Oral contraceptives and pregnancy lower the risk of developing new fibroid tumors.
Fibroids may be present in 15 - 20% of women in their reproductive years -- the time after starting menstruation for the first time and before menopause. Fibroids may affect 30 - 40% of women over age 30.

Fibroids occur 2 to 3 times more frequently in African-American women than in Caucasian women.

Although fibroids usually aren’t dangerous, they can cause discomfort and may lead to complications such as anemia from heavy blood loss. Fibroids usually don’t interfere with conception and pregnancy, but they can occasionally affect fertility. They may distort or block your fallopian tubes or interfere with the passage of sperm from your cervix to your fallopian tubes. Submucosal fibroids may prevent implantation or growth of an embryo. Pregnant women with fibroids are at slightly increased risk of miscarriage, premature labor and delivery, abnormal fetal position, and separation of the placenta from the uterine wall.
In rare instances, fibroid tumors can grow out of your uterus on a stalk-like projection. The fibroid can sometimes twist on this stalk.

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