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  • Uterine fibroid cysts range from tiny, harmless growths that may go entirely unnoticed to melon-sized causes of pain and health problems in women.

    Fibroids

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines fibroids as growths of smooth muscle in the uterine walls. These "tumors" do not contain cancerous cells but can grow large enough to create health issues.

    Frequency

    Uterine fibroid cysts develop in 20 to 50 percent of women during their childbearing years, according to Uterine-Fibroids.org.

    Symptoms

    Women who experience pelvic or leg pain, urinary difficulties, constipation or bloating, unusually heavy periods or an unexplained abdominal enlargement may have uterine fibroids.

    Complications

    While some fibroids cause no problems, others may cause bleeding and discomfort. Fibroids can also create difficulties in urination, pregnancy or giving birth.

    Treatments

    Hormone treatments can reduce smaller fibroids, possibly making surgery unnecessary. In many cases, however, patients must undergo a hysterectomy or at least a myomectomy, an operation to remove the fibroid.

    Source:

    Uterine-Fibroids.org: About Uterine Fibroids

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Common Uterine Conditions

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