Fibroids are benign tumors in the uterus. They are very common and studies have noted that they are present in 3 out of every 4 women. They do not cause a medical problem for a lot of women. However, if they are large or located in certain locations in the uterus, they can become problematic.  

The most common problem is heavy vaginal bleeding. This bleeding can be painful and frequently can make women anemic (low blood levels). Fibroids can also cause pressure and fullness in the abdomen and pelvis. Additionally, they can impact fertility and pregnancy outcomes.  

Fibroids tend to grow during a women's reproductive lifetime. In other words, they start to grow when women start having periods and tend to shrink in menopause when hormone levels are much lower. Most fibroids grow slowly over time.

While we do not yet know why, fibroids are found more frequently in African-American women than in Caucasian women. Women can also be at higher risk of developing fibroids if they have a family history. Additional factors that may increase risks include obesity, high blood pressure and a diet rich in red meats or ham.