Let's talk about Uterine Fibroids

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are a relatively common type of non-cancerous growth in the uterus. They can vary in size, number, and location within the uterus.

What are the symptoms of Uterine Fibroids? 

Not all uterine fibroids cause symptoms, but some can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure, or pain. In certain cases, excessive menstrual bleeding may lead to anemia. 

Some people may also experience the constant urge to urinate or have difficulties emptying the bladder. Other symptoms can include infertility or pregnancy complications. 

Are uterine fibroids genetic? 

The exact cause of uterine fibroids is still unknown, but studies suggest genetics play an important role because uterine fibroids tend to run in families. People with a first-degree relative with uterine fibroids have an increased chance of developing them. 

Did you know?

Uterine fibroids are most likely to be diagnosed in people’s 30s and 40s. Reproductive hormones likely play a role in the condition because many women report less bothersome symptoms after the onset of menopause. 

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Curious what your genetics say about your likelihood of developing uterine fibroids? Find out more with the Uterine Fibroids report (Powered by 23andMe Research), part of the 23andMe+ Premium membership. (This report is available to females only). 23andMe+ Premium includes everything in our Health + Ancestry Service plus new premium reports and features throughout the year.

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Please note:

  • The Uterine Fibroids report (Powered by 23andMe Research) does not diagnose uterine fibroids and should not be used to make medical decisions.
  • The report was developed by 23andMe scientists using data and insights gathered from thousands of customers who consented to participate in our research. Reports based on 23andMe research provide an estimate of your likelihood of developing a condition based on your genetics and other factors. This report does not account for lifestyle or family history.
  • The report does not account for every possible genetic variant that could affect your likelihood of developing uterine fibroids.

References

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (2011). “Uterine fibroids, active component females, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010.” MSMR. 18(12):10–13. 

Baird D et al. (2003). “High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: Ultrasound evidence.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 188(1):100–107. 

Chiaffarino F et al. (1999). “Diet and uterine myomas.” Obstetrics and Gynecology. 94(3):395–398. 

De La Cruz M et al. (2017). “Uterine Fibroids: Diagnosis and Treatment.” American Family Physician. 95(2):100–107. 

Stahlman S et al. (2017). “Incidence and burden of gynecologic disorders, active component service women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2012-2016.” MSMR. 24(11):30–38. 

Stewart E et al. (2016). “Uterine fibroids.” Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 2:16043. 

Stewart E et al. (2017). “Epidemiology of uterine fibroids: A systematic review.” BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 124(10):1501–1512. 

Templeman C et al. (2009). “Risk factors for surgically removed fibroids in a large cohort of teachers.” Fertility and Sterility. 92(4):1436–1446. 

Wise L et al. (2004). “Risk of uterine leiomyomata in relation to tobacco, alcohol and caffeine consumption in the Black Women’s Health Study.” Human Reproduction. 19(8):1746–1754. 

Wise L et al. (2005). “Influence of body size and body fat distribution on risk of uterine leiomyomata in U.S. black women.” Epidemiology. 16(3):346–354. 

Wise L et al. (2010). “A prospective study of dairy intake and risk of uterine leiomyomata.” American Journal of Epidemiology. 171(2):221–232. 

Wise L et al. (2011). “Intake of fruit, vegetables, and carotenoids in relation to risk of uterine leiomyomata.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 94(6):1620–1631. 

Wise L et al. (2012). “African ancestry and genetic risk for uterine leiomyomata.” Am J Epidemiol. 176(12):1159-68. 

Wise L et al. (2016). “Epidemiology of Uterine Fibroids: From Menarche to Menopause.” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 59(1):2–24. 

Zimmermann A et al. (2012). “Prevalence, symptoms and management of uterine fibroids: An international internet-based survey of 21,746 women.” BMC Women’s Health. 12:6.