Uterine fibroids are benign (i.e. non- cancerous) tumors of uterus. It’s also known as leiomyoma. If fibroids are malignant (i.e. cancerous) they are called leiomyosarcoma, although these are very rare.
Fibroids don’t always cause symptoms but can present with pain in lower belly or painful heavy bleeding with menses. Generally a doctor’s help is needed to know if someone has a fibroid and an ultrasound study is helpful in making the diagnosis.
Female hormones like estrogen and progesterone causes its size to increase although during pregnancy (when these hormones are high) size increase is rare.
Fibroids occurring before menopause (i.e. when menses stop, it normally happens in every women after a certain age) are also found to be associated with high blood pressure although exact causes of such association are yet to be found.
Treatment of fibroids can range from simple pain medications to taking the tumor out by surgery or embolisation (blocking) the blood vessels that feed the tumor or hysterectomy (removing the whole uterus along with the tumor).
Recent studies show that Vitamin D can help prevent occurrence of fibroids. Simple and inexpensive methods like exposure to sunlight can help getting the vitamin D.