Understanding the 4 Types of Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are muscular growths that develop in a woman’s uterus. Also known as leiomyomas or myomas, uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that are common in women of childbearing age.

Here at Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, our women’s health care providers have extensive expertise in diagnosing and treating uterine fibroids. We would like to share some important information with you about this health condition, including the four types of uterine fibroids.

About fibroids

Although any woman can develop uterine fibroids, they are most likely to occur in women ages 30-40, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Uterine fibroids are quite common, developing in 20-80% of women under the age of 50.

You may have one fibroid or many, and they can range in size from as tiny as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit, or even larger.

If you have uterine fibroids, you may experience one or more symptoms, or you may have no symptoms at all. Some common uterine fibroid symptoms include:

Types of fibroids

There are four main types of uterine fibroids, and they’re named based on where they grow in your body. They include:

Intramural fibroids

Intramural fibroids grow within the muscular walls of your uterus.

Subserosal fibroids

These types of fibroids grow on the outside of your uterus.

Submucosal fibroids

These are fibroids that grow into your uterine cavity, which is the open space within your uterus.

Pedunculated fibroids

Intramural, subserosal, and submucosal fibroids are masses that grow within tissue. Pedunculated fibroids differ in that they develop on stalk-like structures that come out from tissue, almost like mushrooms.

If you have uterine fibroids

If your fibroids are causing no symptoms, they probably don’t need treatment. 

When symptoms interfere with your health or quality of life, you have several treatment options, including various types of medication and minimally invasive procedures that remove fibroids. At Virtuosa GYN, we review your treatment options with you and help you decide which is best for you. We routinely do small incision, same-day surgery to safely remove uterine fibroids and preserve fertility.  This is an effective procedure even for basketball-sized fibroids. Dr. Crockett is also skilled at Acessa, or fibroid ablation, and is one of only two doctors in the US credentialed to perform robotic-assisted Acessa fibroid procedures. 

When treatment is necessary, the type of treatment recommended depends on your symptoms, the type, number, and size of uterine fibroids you have, and how close you are to menopause.

Care for uterine fibroids

Here at Virtuosa GYN, we work with you to diagnose a full range of women’s health conditions, including uterine fibroids. If you’re experiencing pain, bleeding, or other symptoms, we can help. Call us to schedule a consultation with one of our care providers.

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