- Noncancerous growths that develop in or just outside a woman’s uterus (womb).
- Also known as leiomyomata, they develop from normal uterus muscle cells that start growing abnormally forming a benign tumor.
- Although extremely common, the exact cause is not known but seems to be linked to the hormone estrogen
- Other factors may influence development of uterine fibroids:
- Pregnancy: tendency to develop uterine fibroids increases the more children one has
- Early menstruation: First period occured before age 10 are more likely to have uterine fibroids.
- Women taking birth control pills are less likely to develop significant uterine fibroids
- Family history: Women whose mothers and sisters have uterine fibroids are more likely to have them.