What Causes Uterine Fibroids to Grow?

Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas, are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus. The exact cause of uterine fibroids is not fully understood, but several factors may contribute to their growth:

  • Hormonal Influence: Estrogen and progesterone, the female reproductive hormones, play a role in the development and growth of uterine fibroids. These hormones stimulate the uterine lining’s growth during the menstrual cycle, and they may also promote fibroid growth.
  • Genetic Predisposition: There is evidence to suggest that a family history of uterine fibroids may increase the likelihood of developing them.
  • Race and Ethnicity: Uterine fibroids are more common in women of African descent, while women of Asian descent have a lower incidence.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, hormone levels are higher, which may contribute to the growth of existing fibroids or the development of new ones in some women.
  • Age: Uterine fibroids typically grow during the reproductive years when hormone levels are higher, and tend to shrink after menopause when hormone production decreases.
  • Obesity: There is some evidence suggesting that obesity may be associated with an increased risk of uterine fibroids and their growth.
  • Diet: Certain dietary factors, such as a diet high in red meat and low in fruits and vegetables, have been linked to a higher risk of uterine fibroids.
  • Blood Vessel Abnormalities: Some studies suggest that fibroids may be associated with abnormal blood vessels in the uterus, which could promote their growth.

It’s important to note that while these factors may influence fibroid growth, the exact cause can vary from woman to woman. Most uterine fibroids are non-cancerous and do not cause symptoms. However, in some cases, they can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure on surrounding organs. Treatment options for uterine fibroids depend on factors such as the size and location of the fibroids, the severity of symptoms, and a woman’s reproductive plans. Treatments can range from medications to manage symptoms to surgical procedures or other interventions to remove or shrink the fibroids. If you suspect you have uterine fibroids or are experiencing concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and management plan.