A uterine fibroid (also uterine leiomyoma, myoma, fibromyoma, leiofibromyoma, fibroleiomyoma, and fibroma) (the plural of myoma is myomas or myomata) is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that originates from the smooth muscle layer (myometrium) and the accompanying connective tissue of the uterus.
Fibroids are the most common benign tumors in females and typically found during the middle and later reproductive years. While most fibroids are asymptomatic, they can grow and cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, and urinary frequency and urgency. Some fibroids may interfere with pregnancy although this appears to be very rare.
In the United States, symptoms caused by uterine fibroids are a very frequent indication for hysterectomy. Fibroids are often multiple and if the uterus contains too many leiomyomata to count, it is referred to as diffuse uterine leiomyomatosis. The malignant version of a fibroid is extremely uncommon and termed a leiomyosarcoma.
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