4 Common Uterine Fibroid Misconceptions

Uterine fibroids are common and affect many women each year. According to the Society of Interventional Radiology, “research has shown that uterine fibroids will affect 70% of white women and 80% of African American women in the U.S. by the time they are 50 years old.”

Uterine fibroids are growths that occur in the muscle cells of the uterus. They can range in size from so small they’re undetectable by the human eye to bulky masses that can enlarge the uterus. 

Keep reading to discover four common misconceptions patients have about uterine fibroids.

Misconception #1: Uterine Fibroids Are Cancerous

Uterine fibroids are benign, meaning they are noncancerous growths. Uterine fibroids aren’t linked to an increased risk of uterine cancer. Although these growths aren’t cancerous, they can still cause painful symptoms such as pelvic pressure or pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and severe cramps. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have uterine fibroids.

Misconception #2: Uterine Fibroids Cause Infertility

In the majority of cases, uterine fibroids have no effect on your ability to get or remain pregnant. That being said, there is research that indicates a few, select types of uterine fibroids could possibly cause infertility or pregnancy loss. While the chances are low, it’s important to discuss the possibility with your physician.

Misconception #3: Uterine Fibroids Require Surgery

Not all uterine fibroids require surgery. In fact, only a small percentage of those with uterine fibroids will require surgery. 

For those that do require surgery, uterine fibroid embolization is often the desired treatment. Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed as an outpatient procedure and requires less time to heal than other surgical options. Many patients return to their normal activity level in about one week. 

Misconception #4: Untreated Uterine Fibroids Continue to Grow

As mentioned above, uterine fibroids range in size from so small they are undetectable by the human eye to large masses that can distort the uterus. In many instances, untreated uterine fibroids will not continue to grow. Many women have small, untreated fibroids that cause no symptoms and are found while performing a pelvic exam or ultrasound.

If you’d like to learn more about uterine fibroids, including their risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options, please visit our blog Uterine Fibroids: What You Need to Know.