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Fibroids

Fibroids are a common condition affecting a significant percentage of women every month with heavy and painful periods

About

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths made up of muscle and fibrous tissue that develop in or around your womb (uterus). Many women are unaware they have fibroids because they do not necessarily exhibit any symptoms. However, in some cases it can have a severe and damaging impact on quality of life due to the severity of the symptoms.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of fibroids icon plus

    Symptoms may include: - Heavy periods and painful bleeding - Abdominal and/or lower back pain - Frequent urination - Constipation - Pain during sex
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will request an imaging test to confirm a diagnosis of fibroids. This will help them to get a more accurate idea of the location, size and number of your fibroids. Tests include: - Ultrasound scan. This can be used to identify the presence of fibroids in the body. - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. This can be helpful for providing a more detailed image of the location, size and number of fibroids present. - Hysteroscopy. This is where a small camera is used to look inside your womb at the fibroids. It is also used to rule out any other causes of the bleeding.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment options will depend on the severity of the symptoms you are experiencing. If your symptoms are causing you considerable pain, treatments may include: - Medications to shrink the fibroids and reduce heavy periods. - Surgery. Your consultant may recommend a hysterectomy (surgery to remove your womb) or a myomectomy (surgery to remove the fibroids from the wall of your womb) if your symptoms are severe. - Uterine artery embolisation (UAE). An alternative prodecure to surgery that involves blocking the blood vessels that supply the fibroids, causing them to shrink.

Types of fibroids

Submucosal fibroids

These occur under the lining of the womb. This type can also grow on a peduncle, which is an elongated stalk of tissue.

Intramural fibroids

This is the most common type of fibroid that can develop. They grow within the wall of the womb and may cause the womb to be an irregular shape.

Subserosal fibroids

These develop on the outer wall of the womb and are usually symptomless. However, if they grow large enough they can put pressure on surrounding organs.
MRI brain scan

Treatment focus: Fibroid embolisation

This treatment does not require an operation, and has been shown to significantly reduce the size of fibroids – helping to improve symptoms. 
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Portland Hospital

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Childrens enquiries 020 3811 4906
    Maternity enquiries 020 3131 5998
    Women's health 020 3811 5137

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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