ZocdocAnswersHow quickly do uterine fibroids grow?

Question

How quickly do uterine fibroids grow?

A few months ago, my doctor diagnosed me with uterine fibroids and said that because they were not cancerous and they usually took care of themselves, we could watch and wait. I was comfortable with that, but apparently since then, the fibroids have grown a lot. Is that normal?

Answer

Uterine fibroids are extremely common benign tumors of the uterus. The vast majority of time, nothing is done with them because they are not dangerous and the risks of having them removed outweigh the benefits. It seems that in your case that this was the original plan before they began to grow. Typically fibroids are not removed surgically until they are causing symptoms. In your case, your doctor may decide to remove them because of their growth rate. This would not be because there is any more risk that they would become cancer, but that they have a greater risk of causing symptoms. Also, a very rapid growth rate makes physicians nervous that there may be something else going on other than fibroids. Symptoms of fibroids that would warrant removal include excessive menstrual bleeding or refractory abdominal pain. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN that you have been seeing for your fibroids. He or she can determine how much they have grown and if they are possibly something more worrisome. More than likely, they will need to be removed by hysterectomy or uterine artery embolization at some point if they are causing you any discomfort. Good luck.

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