Uterine fibroid is a non-cancerous growth in the uterus. It usually develops in the 30s and 40s of women. It can be single or multiple. Its exact causes are not known. It is supposed to be caused by an increase in the secretion of female hormones like estrogen or progesterone in the body. Its risk factors involve age, weight, diet, and others discussed below. It can lead to anemia due to excess loss of blood. It can be managed with medicines, other treatment options according to the symptoms. In severe cases, hysterectomy is performed if the woman does not want a future pregnancy.
Risk Factors For Uterine Fibroids
It is not clearly understood the reasons for the development of uterine fibroids in women. Some females develop uterine fibroids and some do not. Its risk factors are not researched thoroughly.(2) According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), 80 % of women develop fibroids in the uterus by the age of 50 years and 25 to 30 percent of women with fibroids develop symptoms that need treatment.(3)
The risk factors of uterine fibroids are-
Age – uterine fibroids develop in the women in their reproductive age. They usually affect women in the age between 30 -50 years of age. It never develops before puberty and after menopause. The uterine fibroids reduce its size after menopause.(4)
Race- They develop more in black women than white women. Black women develop fibroids in young age, more in number, and larger in size than white people.(5) African American develops symptomatic uterine fibroids more than Caucasian women.(2) Asian women are at low risk of fibroids.(2)
Weight- women who have high body weight are more likely to develop uterine fibroids. Overweight women have two to three times more chances to acquire this disease.(4)
Diet-the diet that contains fewer fruits or vegetables with high red meat increases the risk of fibroids. High consumption of green vegetables, fruits, and dairy products is linked with low incidences of fibroids.(4) The diet low in Vitamin D can cause them.(5)
Family History- the tendency to develop uterine fibroids run in families. If a woman’s mother or sisters in the family have uterine fibroids or history of uterine fibroids, then there is a risk of uterine fibroids in her.(5)
Estrogen Levels- When estrogen levels are higher than normal such as during menstruation, use of birth control pills(5), and pregnancy, the chances of developing fibroids are high.(4) According to researchers, the growth of the uterine fibroids is controlled by estrogen and progesterone levels. During pregnancy, their levels are highest that lead to the faster growth of fibroids and they shrink after the birth of the child.(4)
Lifestyle- alcohol consumption, lack of physical activities and stressful life may increase the risk of developing fibroids.(5)
Uterine fibroids are benign or non-cancerous growths of the uterus that may develop in the reproductive period of a woman. They are also termed as leiomyomas or myomas. They neither grow into cancer nor impose the risk of cancer.(5)
Uterine fibroids vary in size and number in different women. They may be small or multiple and single or multiple in number. They develop in the age between puberty and menopause. It happens due to the overproduction of estrogen and testosterone hormones. After menopause, the uterus may shrink. They are often asymptomatic in few women. If the symptoms appear, they may include heavy bleeding between or during menstrual flow, pain in the back and abdomen, painful sex, etc.(1)
Uterine fibroids are the overgrowths of the uterus that appear in the reproductive period. They are induced by risk factors such as reproductive age, genetic inheritance, obesity, dietary habits, lack of physical activity, stress, and alcohol consumption.