What are uterine fibroid tumors?

The obvious first question. Leave it to me to make it third. 😉

These passages are taken directly from WebMD – Fibroids:

The correct medical term for what we’ve come to know as a fibroid is leiomyoma uteri. Leiomyoma uteri is a benign tumor made of smooth uterine muscle. Leio means “smooth,” my means “muscle,” and oma means “benign growth.” Fibroid tumors are therefore a collection of innocent uterine muscle cells that form a noticeable hard lump. Fibroids are grayish white, firm, round, and ring shaped. They come in all sizes, and it’s common to have several fibroids growing at once.

Found a good link that shows a picture of fibroids of multiple sizes. Once there, click the small thumbnail fibroid photo near the top. This will open a window that displays the larger image.

Fibroids are classified by location:

  1. Intramural or interstitial: fibroids in the outer or innermost layer of the uterus.
  2. Subserous/serosal: fibroids that protrude into the abdominal cavity and can be pedunculated (they grow on a stalk, like broccoli).
  3. Submucosal: fibroids that invade the endometrium.
  4. Parasitic: fibroids that migrate out of the uterus and invade the cervix or other pelvic organs, developing their own blood supply.

Personally, I was not familiar with the parasitic variety. One contributor (fibroid free) did have parasitic fibroids as a possible concern during her abdominal myomectomy. Thank you for sharing this information.

If you have thoughts or questions on uterine fibroid tumors in general (numbers, sizes, locations, etc.), post them here.

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Related Posts:
Can I pass a uterine fibroid?
Do uterine fibroids burst?
Psst… Where can I find pictures of fibroid tumors?
Would somebody tell me how much these dang fibroid tumors weigh?

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14 Responses to “What are uterine fibroid tumors?”

  1. anil kumar Says:

    i have lot of innocent tumors in my body can tell the soltions

  2. EclecticGeek Says:

    I have information about fibroid tumors in the uterus. I do have a References page that lists medical resources. You can use that to find some information. Post what you know about your problem (locations of tumors) and we can start there.

    Here is a link to my post about symptoms of fibroid tumors:
    Uterine fibroid symptoms (not my idea of fun)

  3. cloud9 Says:

    Hey everyone! I came across this site while looking for informative online info regarding fibroids. I’m glad there are supportive sites, such as this,and women that completely understand what I’m going through! I went for a routine pap and pelvic exam in July ’06, and the Dr. said she felt fibroids, but wanted to confirm it through an ultrasound;affirmative! 😦 I’ve always been ‘chunky’, so i guess I overlooked that fact that my stomach protrudes. I’ve had low back pain, which gets worse upon exertion, but i just been dealing with it. As far as the cramping and blood clots, I just thought it was ‘me’… My periods were always heavy, so i never connected this with having fibroids. At this point, I’m scared, sad, and angry, as I’m 34, and have no children, but haven’t given up on possibly giving birth some day.. I was told i have 3 subserous fibroids and other smaller ones as well.. The largest is 75mm x 73 mm x 84mm (?), and at this point, my doctor wants to keep an eye on this.. I’l be scheduling another ultrasound tomorrow to get an update.. I’m not thrilled about having to go under the knife, but I will, only as a last resort. In the meantime, I’m trying to improve my diet in hopes that the next scan will show a reduction in fibroid size! Sorry about the long post, but thank you for listening!

  4. EclecticGeek Says:

    Hi cloud9,

    Glad you found the site! I know this can be kind of scary but you will know more after your next ultrasound. I have a post that talks about treatment options:
    Just what are your uterine fibroid treatment options?

    Since you are interested in maintaining fertility, your treatment will probably involve some type of myomectomy. Click the link I listed above and look for those procedures. There are many women here dicussing their recovery experiences and you can ask whatever you like. You can also check the Forum for answers to questions. If you have any additional concerns or thoughts, don’t hesititate to leave a comment.

    No need to apologize for the length of your post. Write as much as you want to get your concerns addressed or get your feelings out.

  5. fibroid free Says:

    Here Here for Long post!!! (ahh mine are always long LOL)

    Cloud9 (-glad you have confirmation (well not glad – not glad anyone has fibroids) but that will enable you to find the right treatment option for you. Like Eclectic geek said – if you are looking to preserve your fertiltiy (like I was) them a myomectomy is the only option that does that. Lots of supprt here on this site !!

  6. kendra Says:

    I have a rather large fibroid on top of my uterus. I am scheduled for surgery in mid march. I feel no pain or have any symptoms, but my doctor thinks I should have it removed. Is there any other options besides surgery?

  7. EclecticGeek Says:

    Hi kendra,

    You can check this page for treatment options. It will have links to other pages where women are discussing their post-op experiences including after the less-invasive or non-invasive procedures:

    Just what are your uterine fibroid tumor treatment options?

    You can also check the Forum page for a list of other discussions on the site.

    I cannot say that you will be able to avoid surgery but it is best to know all the fibroid treatment options available and discuss them with your doctor.

  8. Sasha Says:

    Are you able to pass fibroid tumors or any other tumors when you go to the bathroom?
    If so what would it look like?

  9. Gel Says:

    Hiya,

    Kendra… Are you in the UK / Scotland? Did you post on SmartGroups in the past?

    I’m Gel (Geraldine), and have suffered with fibroids for many years – coming up for 10 years now. I’ve undergone a few laporoscopies, hysteroscopy, sygmoidoscopy, hysteroscopic resection, blood transfusion of 6 units for severe anaemia caused by blood loss/blood clots and despite this, by some small miracle, went on to have a baby boy. He’ll be 4 in August this year! I dealt with my still ongoing fibroid issues after my son was born by having a Mirena coil fitted. It did some good (I didn’t bleed heavily and non stop), but I still bled for 3 weeks out of every 4. The 4th week was usually when I had thrush – caused by a Ph imbalance in my vagina caused by the prolonged presence of blood…

    My coil became ineffective by the end of 2006 and when I was out Christmas shopping with my Mum, I flooded in a big way (and unexpectedly). I had tampons and towels with me but went through the lot and ended up looking around for the nearest “Boots”.

    After seeing my GP and then having a scan, I was told the coil had moved out of position. In January, it was removed and replaced with a new one. So 3 months later (they say it takes 3 months to “settle in”), I was at a children’s party with my son and an hour into it and out of the blue, I flooded. I went to the loo and passed several blood clots.

    I called my partner to come and look after our son while I went home. I got home and sat on the loo for over half an hour, unable to move because I was passing blood clot after blood clot.

    When it died down, I put in a tampon (the heaviest duty purple one) and 15 minutes was all I had before I had to replace it. After a few hours of this I had a headache from the dehydration of passing so much blood…

    I saw a GP on Monday last week and asked for Tranexamic Acid tablets (which have helped to reduce the bleeding and clots) and I asked for a letter to be sent to my gynae for an appointment.

    I was back at the GP today asking for a blood test because I was tired all last week and I asked for an examination to see if the coil was still in place after such heavy bleeding. It is, thank goodnesss.

    I’m hoping to get the blood test result tomorrow.

    I thought my fibroids had stopped giving me grief, but apparently, not so! Hopefully the blood test will come back ok, as don’t feel much like having another transfusion!

    Regards,
    Gel x

  10. Pal (AM) Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I had a large fibroid in my utreus. jus tfor your advice i think i was the most scared person in the world when i found out about my 18 week baby sized febroid that was on the top of my utreus. i wanted to get my surgery as soon as possible but the thing was that all the OBGYN i went to wanted to take out my utreus. I didn’t want this to happen so i kept on trying and went to over six or seven doctors before i found Lewis Wyatt. i had lost hope from all the OBGYN but Lewis was the one that gave me hope. He was the only OBGYN that told me that there was no need to remove the utreus at all and in about couple of weeks my surgery was scheduled at April 23 2007 in Cedar Sinai Hospital in Baverly Hills. It took me about 3 days in the hospital to recover good enough to go home.

  11. Pal (AM) Says:

    Ohhh pressed submit on accident so ill start back from where i left off

    When I got home I couldn’t do anything but talk, which was annoying to my brothers but they and my family helped me through the recovery process which took about 4 weeks. To tell you the truth it isn’t that scary after the surgery becasue IT WAS A SUCCESS. I went for my routen check up but thats all.

    Tips
    1. Don’t be scared at all
    2. Search for a great OBGYN which will give you hope
    Thats all you need for you surgery

  12. Serenity Says:

    Hi!
    I stumbled upon this blog after a visit from my OB/GYN in December 2009. She had been my GYN for apprx 10 years! I put my trust into her ability to handle my medical needs. for years she monitored my HPV stats (human Papilloma Virus). I too am a medical provider (pediatrics).. I have to say TRUST YOUR GUT (literally).. After my pre op consultation with her, i left with so many unanswered questions and many of my concerns not met. She was about to sccedule me for a Myomectomy with “possible HYSTORECTOMY”. Normal consent you say …huh? Well it doesnt have to be. I left her office in shock. Im 34 years old and she could not tell me 100% if I would come out of surgery an intact women.. Despite our years of previous conversation for my ‘back up plan”(sperm donor). Her response was ‘ I wont know for sure until I open you up”
    We discussed the shape of the fibriod (on a pendullum or stalk), she would clamp the stalk to cut off the blood supply. We discussed donating my blood prior to surgey because the uterus is very vascualr and bleeding is likely. she couldnt confirm the # of fibriods. “I wont know till I open you up”. Uhh…dont you have and MRI? I questined why she didnt ask for my films. She also could not confirm that she would use sugical glue instead of staples.. She told me a women of my size typically won’t do well with sugical glue. Althought this was my most superficial question, i think she forgot that I too was a practitioner I have adult patients that are post op, GYN , twice my size ( Im 200lbs) and return to thier bed with surgical glue. Her answers didnt sit right with me. She cant take my uterus! So I found this blog while searching for answers. I read the term “RE”. Not until the blog i heard about REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGISTS. These are GYN”S or OB/GYN’s that specialize in procedures to maintain your fertility. REMINDER Iam a NURSE PRACTITIONER with a masters degree. i have never came across this specialty. Through Divine intervintion (long story) I found Dr. Stanley West . He removed my Fibroid 1 big ole honey dew melon size fibroid. made several cuts to my uterus (fibroid too big for the typical incision) removed the fibroid and reconstucted my uterus. According the Dr West if i was ready i can have children in 4 months! Did I tell you he is a “microsurgeon” . I cry because of this divine intervention. The fibriod shape was nothing like my GYN described. I dont know what MRI report she read. Dr West read my MRI report whle drawing pictures. I donated no blood . he said that will cause me to be anemic and cause othe problems for surgery. At St vincents hospital they use a cell saver. My blood loss during sugery is collected and i guess cleaned, and put right back in my IV. I saw it upon awakening from anesthesia. it wasnt alot either. Oh yeah Im home healing sore not really pain. dont get me wrong Im exhausted! But… I got my GLUE to a bikini line cut you cant even see! My sugical opening is closed in 5 layers! Nothing is gonna break free! In this case the glue is cosmetic. His final stitch is right under the skin. This is not the typical closure of GYN thats why they prefer staples its Quick! They go back to thier office or go delivery another baby.. Iwas the only obligation on his work schedule. He had all the time he needed to reconstruct and stitch it back. Please go to a RE!!!!!!!! My sugical consent read “MYOMECTOMY NO HYSTERECTOMY” brought me to tears!

  13. Lacy Zerger Says:

    Wonderful blog, I recently came across it and I am already a fan. I recently lost thirty pounds in 30 days, and I am excited to share my weight loss success with as many people as possible. If I can lose weight then any one can. Whatever you do, never give up and you WILL accomplish every one of your weight loss goals!

  14. Peju Says:

    I am 10wks pregnant wit fibroids 58,73,49mm
    Ve been worried and scared,i just need someone to talk to. Pls encourage me.


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