Fibroids are common benign tumours of the smooth muscle of the uterus. Prevalence is higher than was originally thought, and there is ultrasound evidence to suggest that fibroids occur in up to 51% of premenopausal women. The estimated cumulative incidence of fibroids by the age of 50 years is more than 80% for black women and nearly 70% for white women. These figures confirm previous reports, which found evidence of fibroids in 77% of hysterectomy pathology specimens.
The prevalence is higher in women who are nulliparous, in those of Afro-Caribbean origin and in women with a family history. The risk increases with age but pre-menopausal women have a lower risk than those that are postmenopausal.
Presentation of fibroids:
- most fibroids are asymptomatic (incidental finding)
- menstrual problems
- pressure effects
- pelvic pain
Diagnosis of fibroids:
- ultrasound (2D and 3D)
- hysteroscopy will diagnose submucous fibroids