Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are tumors or growths made of smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, and other material that grow in or on the wall of the uterus or womb. They are the most common non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age.

Uterine fibroids can cause pain and abnormal bleeding from the uterus. Sometimes, fibroids can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy.

Currently, the only cure for fibroids is hysterectomy (pronounced hiss-tur-EK-toh-mee), or removal of the uterus, although fibroids can be treated with other methods.

NICHD scientists are exploring the causes of and treatments for fibroids—including non-hormonal treatments and solutions that preserve a woman’s fertility—and are seeking ways to prevent fibroids from occurring at all.