Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine myomas or leiomyomas, are non-cancerous tumors that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. Uterine fibroids may cause debilitating symptoms including heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding, anemia, and pelvic pain.

There are several different types of fibroids, such as intramural, submucosal, and subserosal. These different types are defined by the location of the fibroids in the uterus.

 

How common is this?
Is this normal? Abnormal?

Over 25% of women of reproductive age have uterine fibroids. Many of these women have significant symptoms that do not respond to oral contraceptives, the first-line therapy.

Depending on size and location, uterine fibroids can be identified during a pelvic exam. Diagnosis requires an ultrasound to visualize the uterine fibroids.

Heavy menstrual bleeding is more than 80 mL (approximately 6 tablespoons) in a cycle. It is the most common symptom of uterine fibroids. Many women with heavy menstrual bleeding go undiagnosed.

How Do Uterine Fibroids Affect the Body?

Women with uterine fibroids may experience heavy bleeding, which can cause anemia. Anemia may cause fatigue and tiredness. Uterine fibroids can grow large in size and lead to additional effects, including pelvic pain, urinary symptoms, and pregnancy complications. Estrogen, which is produced by the ovaries, contributes to the development and growth of uterine fibroids.

Standard Treatment Options

Standard treatment options for uterine fibroids include medical therapies and surgery. Although not FDA-approved for uterine fibroids, some women report improved symptoms on hormonal contraceptives. GnRH agonists are injections that lower estrogen and manage the disease. This treatment is for short-term use due to bone mineral density loss, hot flushes, and other side effects from a low-estrogen state. A myomectomy is the surgical removal of uterine fibroids. While hysterectomy removes all uterine fibroids, the surgery also involves removal of the entire uterus, which leads to the loss of fertility. Some women who undergo myomectomy ultimately have a hysterectomy, which can involve major complications such as excessive bleeding and infection. Additional treatment options exist. All treatment decisions should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

Medical
(other than pain medications)

  • Hormonal contraceptives
  • GnRH agonists

Surgical

  • Myomectomy
  • Hysterectomy

Turning Science into Medicine

Many women with heavy bleeding from uterine fibroids encounter obstacles to diagnosis and evaluation. At Myovant, we believe that women should be empowered to lead full, healthy lives. Millions of women across the world do not have this opportunity due to symptoms of uterine fibroids. That is why we are invested in driving women’s health forward and developing innovative treatments to improve the current standard of care.

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Starting the Conversation

Maybe you are uncomfortable speaking about your uterine fibroids or just want more information. You’re not alone. Here are some resources that you may find helpful.

Advocacy Resources

The Fibroid Foundation aims to provide education and community for those suffering from uterine fibroids and their loved ones.
Learn more at fibroidfoundation.org

The White Dress Project is on a mission to promote national awareness about uterine fibroids through education, research, and advocacy.
Learn more at thewhitedressproject.org

CARE About Fibroids focuses on raising policymaker awareness of the impact of uterine fibroids on women in the U.S.
Learn more at careaboutfibroids.org

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) provides comprehensive resources on the symptoms, diagnosis, and current treatments of uterine fibroids.
Learn more at acog.org

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We are dedicated to partnering across sectors to bring much-needed attention and innovation to women’s health.

Learn more about our Female Forward initiatives