Myomas, also known as uterine fibroids, are non-cancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus. They are among the most common gynecological conditions, affecting a significant number of women, especially during their reproductive years. Understanding the various aspects of myomas is crucial for effective management and treatment.

What are Myomas?

Myomas are benign tumors made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. They can vary significantly in size, ranging from tiny seedlings, undetectable by the human eye, to bulky masses that can distort and enlarge the uterus. Uterine fibroids can be solitary or multiple in number.

Types of Myomas

  1. Submucosal Fibroids: Develop in the muscle beneath the inner lining of the uterus.
  2. Intramural Fibroids: Grow within the wall of the uterus.
  3. Subserosal Fibroids: Extend beyond the uterus on a stalk or broad base.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of myomas is unknown, but several factors may influence their development:

  1. Hormones: Estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that stimulate the development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle, appear to promote the growth of fibroids.
  2. Genetic Factors: Many fibroids contain alterations in genes that differ from those in normal uterine muscle cells.
  3. Other Factors: These include a family history of fibroids, ethnicity (more common in African-American women), obesity, and dietary elements.

Symptoms of Myomas

Many women with fibroids experience no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include:

  1. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Excessively long or heavy periods.
  2. Menstrual Pain: Severe cramps or pelvic pain.
  3. Pelvic Pressure: A feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen.
  4. Frequent Urination: Increased urge to urinate.
  5. Constipation: Due to pressure on the rectum.
  6. Back or Leg Pain: From pressure on spinal nerves.
  7. Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: Including a higher risk of cesarean section.


Myomas are often found incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound. When symptoms suggest fibroids, the following diagnostic tests may be used:

  1. Ultrasound: To visualize the uterus, ovaries, and fibroids.
  2. MRI: For a more detailed imaging, particularly in complex cases.
  3. Hysteroscopy: To examine the inside of the uterus.
  4. Laparoscopy: For a direct view of the outer surface of the uterus.

Treatment Options

Treatment depends on various factors, including symptoms, fibroid size and location, age, overall health, and fertility considerations. Options include:

  1. Medications: To control symptoms and shrink fibroids.
  2. Non-Invasive Procedures: Like MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery.
  3. Minimally Invasive Procedures: Such as uterine artery embolization and laparoscopic myomectomy.
  4. Surgical Procedures: Including hysterectomy and traditional myomectomy.
  5. Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies: Like exercise, diet, and stress management.

Living with Myomas

Living with myomas can be challenging, especially if symptoms are severe. It’s crucial for affected women to maintain regular medical checkups and discuss their symptoms and treatment options with their healthcare provider. Emotional and psychological support is also important as myomas can impact quality of life, fertility, and mental health.