Uterine fibroids—also known as myomas or leiomyomas—are benign growths on the uterus or womb. They can grow in the muscular uterine wall (intramural), in the uterine cavity (submucosal) or on the outside of the uterus (subserosa).

Signs and Symptoms

There are multiple symptoms, making the diagnosis a bit tricky: pelvic pain or pressure, back or leg pain or cramping, pain during sex, frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder, heavier than normal menstrual flow, longer duration of menstruation and constipation.

Very commonly, though, women experience no symptoms at all, and fibroids are only detected during a prenatal ultrasound or pelvic exam. While fibroids don’t prevent conception, they can cause infertility, pregnancy complications or loss.

Uterine fibroids range considerably in size, from undetectably small to masses as large as a grapefruit, although that would be rare. Uterine fibroids can grow slowly or rapidly