Doctors don't know the cause of uterine fibroids, but research and clinical experience point to these factors:
April 09, 2014
- Genetic changes. Many fibroids contain changes in genes that differ from those in normal uterine muscle cells. There's also some evidence that fibroids run in families and that identical twins are more likely to both have fibroids than nonidentical twins.
- Hormones. Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids. Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal uterine muscle cells do. Fibroids tend to shrink after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production.
- Other growth factors. Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like growth factor, may affect fibroid growth.
- Stewart EA. Overview of treatment of uterine leiomyomas (fibroids). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Stewart EA. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and natural history of uterine leiomyomas (fibroids). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Stewart EA. Histology and pathogenesis of uterine leiomyomas (fibroids). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Laughlin SK, et al. Uterine leiomyomas: Individualizing the approach to a heterogeneous condition. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2011;117:396.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ074. Uterine fibroids. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq074.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130423T1546469165. Accessed April 23, 2013.
- Kim D, et al. Uterine leiomyoma (fibroid) embolization. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 6, 2013.
- Stewart EA. New science will move fibroid therapies into the 21st century. Fertility and Sterility. 2012;98:604.
- Islam S, et al. Uterine leiomyoma: Available medical treatments and new possible therapeutic options. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;98:921.
- Van der Kooij, et al. Review of nonsurgical/minimally invasive treatments for uterine fibroids. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2012;24:368.
- Uterine fibroid symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Society of Interventional Radiology. http://www.sirweb.org/patients/uterine-fibroids/. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Hesley GK, et al. MR-guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of uterine fibroids. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology. 2013;36:5.
- Frequently asked questions. Special procedures FAQ084. Hysteroscopy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq084.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130507T1056219214. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Liu JP, et al. Herbal preparations for uterine fibroids. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005292.pub3/abstract. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Pundir J, et al. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic vs. abdominal and laparoscopic myomectomy: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. In press. Accessed April 17, 2013.
- Stewart EA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 31, 2013.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 15, 2013.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 14, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.