ZocdocAnswersWhat is leiomyoma?

Question

What is leiomyoma?

I was having some digestive troubles and some menstruation irregularities, so my doctor just ran some tests and is now saying I have leiomyoma, but that it's benign. I have several questions. How can this be benign? Isn't a tumor always a problem? Can I opt to get rid of it, even if it's benign?

Answer

Menstrual irregularities are one of the most common problems suffered by women, and they sometimes have causes that need to be treated medically. The doctors who will be best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor. Leiomyomas are commonly known as "fibroids." They are essentially benign tumors of the muscular layer of the uterus, and they are very, very common. As many as half of all women over 40 will have fibroids. Except in very rare cases, they are benign and noncancerous. However, even though they are benign they often cause problems. For example, in addition to menstrual irregularities, they often cause heavy menstrual bleeding, which can cause anemia and fatigue. They can also be a common cause of infertility. There are several treatment options for fibroids, including several medications as well as surgical options. These are generally reserved for people with more persistent symptoms as determined by your OB / GYN doctor. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor is highly recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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