What Are the Different Types of Uterine Fibroids?

What types of uterine fibroids are there?

The medical term for uterine fibroid is uterine leiomyoma, a type of myoma tumor. They are tumors of the smooth muscle of the uterus and contain muscle tissue. Uterine fibroids are a common diagnosis for women and are almost always benign (non-cancerous). While most fibroids occur in the fundus, or upper part of the uterus, they can grow in any part of the uterus. This includes the fundus, endometrium, myometrium, serosa, within the cavity, and from the cervix. Fibroids are classified according to their location in the uterus, usually within three main categories: submucosal, intramural, and subserosal.

SUBMUCOSAL

This type of fibroid grows in endometrium, the lining of uterus, and can protrude into the cavity of the uterus. These can distort the uterus cavity, cause abnormal or heavy bleeding, and may also cause miscarriage. They are the least common type of fibroid, but they may be the most symptomatic even when small.

INTRAMURAL (OR MYOMETRIAL)

These fibroids grow within the muscular wall of the uterus and can enlarge the uterus. These fibroids can cause cramps, pelvic or back pain, feelings of pressure, and heavy bleeding. They are the most common type of fibroid.

SUBSEROSAL

This type of fibroid grows on the surface of the uterus and expands outward, giving the exterior of the uterus a bumpy appearance. These fibroids can cause pressure and back or pelvic pain, but they generally do not affect menstrual flow.

There are also fibroids that grow on a stalk or stem; they are called pedunculated fibroids. If this type of fibroid grows within the uterus cavity, it is known as a pedunculated submucosal fibroid. If this type grows on the outside of the uterus, it is a pedunculated suberosal fibroid.

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This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

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