Do Fibroids Run in Your Family?
Do you think you might have uterine fibroids, or has someone in your family recently been diagnosed? If so, you probably have many questions. One of the first things that might come to mind is, “are fibroids genetic”?
We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of uterine fibroids — including their causes. Read on to learn more about your risks of getting uterine fibroids as well as potential factors for this common condition.
Are Fibroids Genetic?
Possibly. Researchers can’t say for sure what causes fibroids. However, studies have found that genetics can, in fact, indicate an increased risk of getting the condition. Evidence suggests that women who have one or more close relatives with fibroids — particularly their mother or sisters — are more likely to develop them themselves.
If My Mom Has Fibroids, Will I Get Them Too?
While genetics seem to play a role in uterine fibroids, they’re certainly not the only factor — or even the main factor — in determining your chances of getting them. So, if your sister or mom has fibroids, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have them too. However, you will be at an increased risk.
If you’re worried that you might have fibroids, talk to your doctor or one of the specialists at our center. We’ll be happy to help you determine your likelihood of having fibroids and find the best treatment option for your needs.
What Causes Uterine Fibroids to Form?
Thirty-three percent of women develop fibroids in their 20s to 30s, and genetics is just one of many potential factors. While their exact causes are still unknown, studies point to the following as a couple of other potential determinants of fibroids:
- Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen — hormones that stimulate the uterine lining’s growth each month during the menstrual cycle — seem to be a primary factor in fibroid growth. Fibroids tend to grow when hormone levels are at their highest during a woman’s childbearing years — particularly during pregnancy. When these hormones slow their production during menopause, fibroid growth typically stops.
- Changes in genes: Researchers have found that fibroids often have genetic changes different from normal uterine cells. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) discovered a genetic risk allele (which is an alternative form of a gene) for fibroids in women of Caucasian descent. More studies need to occur to secure additional data for women of various ages and racial groups.
Along with these causes, research has found a few known factors related to fibroid development. You have a greater risk of developing fibroids if you:
- Have a family history of uterine fibroids
- Are of African-American descent
- Have a high Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Frequently eat red meat and don’t often eat fruits or vegetables
- Regularly drink alcohol or caffeine, not enough water
- Have a Vitamin D deficiency
- Began menstruating at an early age
If you fall into one of the categories above, it’s important to track your menstrual symptoms and tell your doctor if anything changes. If you are experiencing heavy, painful periods or other symptoms listed on our uterine fibroid symptoms guide, then you may want to talk to a physician who specializes in uterine fibroids. A fibroid specialist will be able to look at your family and medical history to determine if genetics play a role in your fibroid development.
Get Answers and Find Treatment
Even if uterine fibroids are genetic, you have the ability to choose your next steps. No one should be forced to live with the chronic pain that often comes with having fibroids. If you or a loved one are looking for lasting relief from fibroid symptoms, USA Fibroid Centers can help.
For more information about fibroids or to learn more about diagnosis and treatment, reach out to today by calling us at 855.615.2555 or clicking the button below. Our fibroid specialists are here to answer any questions you might have and guide you toward the treatment plan that’s right for you.