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Types of Fibroids

Uterine fibroids, or simply fibroids, are noncancerous growths that originate from the muscle of the womb and can occur anywhere in the uterus. They can range in size from being nearly undetectable to large, bulky masses. Fibroids can grow anywhere in the uterus and are named for their location.

There are four primary types of fibroids: intramural, subserosal, submucosal and pedunculated. Patients may have one type at a time or all four depending on the severity of their case, and each type of fibroid may cause slightly different symptoms.

A specialist can diagnose which type of fibroids you have and recommend the proper treatment to remove them.

Fibroids growth

Intramural Fibroids

Intramural fibroids develop within the uterine muscle wall, or myometrium. As these uterine fibroids grow larger, they can stretch the uterus, a process that may be mistaken for pregnancy growth or weight gain. The most prominent symptoms of intramural fibroids include a heavy menstrual flow, frequent urination and lower back or pelvic pain. Larger intramural fibroids can also cause infertility1 by interfering with the implantation of an embryo into the uterus.

Subserosal Fibroids

Subserosal fibroids develop on the outside of the uterus and involve the serosal lining of the uterus. These fibroids tend to grow outward from the uterus, putting pressure on the surrounding organs, but they are less likely to cause excessive bleeding or impact menstrual flow. The more common symptoms for this type of fibroid are pelvic pain and pressure due to their location.

Submucosal Fibroids

Submucosal fibroids develop under the endometrial lining of the uterus and may protrude into the uterine cavity as they grow. Common symptoms of submucosal fibroids include heavy bleeding, prolonged menstruation, passing of clots during menstruation and frequent bowel movements. These fibroids may also interfere with fertility if they are blocking the fallopian tubes. If fertility is desired, submucosal fibroids need to be surgically removed.2

Pedunculated Fibroids

Pedunculated fibroids develop on stalks attached to the uterus. These fibroids may grow into the cavity of the uterus (pedunculated intracavitary fibroid) or from the outside of the uterus (pedunculated subserosal fibroid). Common symptoms of pedunculated fibroids include pain and pressure, sometimes worsened if fibroids begin twisting on the stalk.

Getting a Diagnosis

An accurate diagnosis is crucial for detecting and treating fibroids, even when they do not cause noticeable symptoms. If the chance for an early diagnosis is missed, small fibroids will become larger fibroids, causing more severe symptoms and increasing the risk of serious complications over time.

If you think you have fibroids, an expert fibroid specialist at CIGC will make an accurate diagnosis and provide a treatment plan to address your symptoms and prevent further complications. Schedule a consultation today to have a specialist evaluate your symptoms and condition(s) and put you on a path toward effective treatment.

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  1. Parazzini F, Tozzi L, Bianchi S. Pregnancy outcome and uterine fibroids. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2016;34:74-84. doi:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2015.11.017
  2. Carranza-Mamane B, Havelock J, Hemmings R; REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY AND INFERTILITY COMMITTEE; SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR. The management of uterine fibroids in women with otherwise unexplained infertility. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2015;37(3):277-285. doi:10.1016/S1701-2163(15)30318-2