Uterine fibroids (leiomyomata) are non-cancerous growths that develop in or just outside a woman’s uterus (womb). Uterine fibroids develop from normal uterus muscle cells that start growing abnormally. As the cells grow, they form a benign tumor.
anemia from prolonged, heavy, and irregular vaginal
Is the only fibroid treatment that prevents regrowth of
May correct leakage of urine (urinary incontinence) that
is caused by fibroid pressure on internal organs.
What else should I know?
An accurate diagnosis of symptoms is essential for a successful
outcome of a hysterectomy. If your symptoms are not accurately diagnosed, a
hysterectomy may not relieve them.
Up to 50% of fibroids have grown back within 10 years of removal
myomectomy, depending on the original fibroid
problem.1 Because of this high recurrence rate,
hysterectomy may be an appropriate treatment choice for women who have
completed childbearing and have bothersome symptoms that have not responded to
Hormone suppressors, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone
analogues (GnRH-as), used 2 months before a planned hysterectomy may:
Shrink fibroids before surgery to make the
surgery easier on you or to allow a vaginal hysterectomy instead of an
Increase your blood cell count, which
reduces anemia before surgery.
Many women find heavy, prolonged, and irregular bleeding caused by
fibroids to be bothersome. But a hysterectomy may have no long-term advantage
over waiting for bleeding to stop with menopause. When considering this
surgery, weigh the benefits against the risks and costs.
If you have a hysterectomy and you are not close to menopausal age,
talk to your health professional about whether to also have your ovaries
removed (oophorectomy). When comparing women who do and don't have their
ovaries, experts estimate that women live longer when they keep their ovaries
until at least age 65. This may be because women who have their ovaries have
fewer hip fractures (stronger bones) and are less likely to develop heart
disease.2 If you do have an oophorectomy,
estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is recommended to
prevent bone-thinning. For more information, see the topic Hysterectomy.
Wallach E, Vlahos NF (2004). Uterine myomas: An
overview of development, clinical features, and management. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 104(2): 393-406.
Parker WH, et al. (2005). Ovarian conservation at the
time of hysterectomy for benign disease. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 106(2): 219-226.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Anne Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
July 15, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 15, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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