Uterine fibroids can cause many symptoms that impact your quality of life. Your body’s blood supply nourishes these non-cancerous growths in the uterus. Fibroids can grow to over 10cm, comparable to the size of a mango.
Some women don’t realize they have fibroids; others suffer debilitating symptoms. But what do fibroids look like? The following uterine fibroids pictures and images will help you better understand what fibroids look like, how large they can get, and what symptoms you may experience.
Pictures of Types and Sizes of Fibroids in the Uterus
The uterus is a pear-shaped organ located in the lower abdomen, between the bladder and the rectum. It is responsible for carrying a developing fetus during pregnancy. The uterus is made up of three layers of muscle: the endometrium, the myometrium, and the perimetrium.
The uterus looks like a light-bulb with wings curling back into the uterus. This uterus diagram shows these wings are made up of the Fallopian tubes and ovaries, with the uterus and cervix (leading into the vagina), on the top and bottom of this “lightbulb” of your body.
There are four main types of fibroids, classified by their location in or on the uterus:
- Intramural: These fibroids grow inside the walls of the uterine muscles.
- Subserosal: These grow outside of the uterus inside the abdominal cavity.
- Submucosal: This type grows in the uterus lining or the endometrium.
- Pedunculated: This type extends from the uterine wall by a narrow stalk, allowing it to protrude into the uterine cavity or outside the uterus.
Some submucosal or subserosal fibroids may be pedunculated which means they may be attaches to the uterus wall by a stalk and can develop inside or outside the uterus.
Fibroids can also be classified by their size. Small fibroids are typically less than 1 centimeter in diameter and do not usually cause any symptoms. Medium fibroids are 1 to 5 centimeters in diameter and may cause some symptoms, such as heavy bleeding or painful periods. Large fibroids are greater than 5 centimeters in diameter and can cause a variety of symptoms, including pelvic pain, pressure on the bladder or bowel, and difficulty getting pregnant.
The type, size, and location of fibroids can all affect the symptoms they cause and the treatment options available.
Images of Fibroids
MRI and Ultrasound Images
MRI and ultrasound images of fibroids are often used together to get a complete picture of the size, location, and type of fibroids present. This information can then be used to develop a treatment plan that is right for the individual patient. This is called fibroid mapping.
Several fibroids can grow throughout the uterus, as shown in the pictures of fibroids.
Understanding the visual representation of fibroids within the uterus is important in understanding both their location and associated symptoms. This visual exploration enhances awareness of the impact on surrounding tissues and organs, offering valuable context to symptoms such as pelvic pain, bloating, heavy menstrual bleeding, and reproductive health challenges.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact USA Fibroid Centers for help. Our goal is to allow women the option of a minimally invasive treatment with Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE).
Images of Fibroid Treatments
There are three primary types of treatment for uterine fibroids and below we highlight in photos how they differ.
A doctor may recommend a myomectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the fibroids. While USA Fibroid Centers does not perform myomectomies, there are three types of myomectomy options you should know about:
- Abdominal: An incision is made in the lower abdomen and uterus about four inches long
- Laparoscopic: Four incisions are made in the lower abdomen, each about ½-inch
- Hysteroscopic: A thin scope is inserted into the vagina and cervix into the uterus
A hysterectomy is a surgery that removes the uterus and, sometimes, the ovaries and cervix. It requires an extended hospital stay, results in infertility, and needs a longer recovery.
Various hysterectomy procedures exist. A partial hysterectomy removes the uterus, while a total hysterectomy removes the uterus and cervix. A radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, ovaries, and all female reproductive organs.
A stomach after a hysterectomy often has a scar running through it. Pictured below, the scar is vertical and looks to go down toward the groin.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization Photo
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive, short outpatient procedure for treating fibroids. A tiny catheter is inserted into the uterine artery feeding the fibroid to allow embolic agents to be injected. It then blocks blood flow, causing the fibroids to shrink and die. . One major advantage of UFE is that it is a non-surgical alternative to hysterectomy, preserving the uterus and allowing women to maintain their fertility. UFE also carries a lower risk of complications and has a shorter recovery time compared to surgery. Additionally, UFE is effective in treating multiple fibroids simultaneously, regardless of their size or location. It provides long-term symptom relief, reducing heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure. Compared to hormonal therapies, UFE does not have the same potential side effects, such as weight gain or mood changes. UFE is a safe and effective option for women seeking fibroid treatment with minimal invasiveness, faster recovery, and preservation of reproductive options. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment approach based on individual circumstances.
Request a Consultation With USA Fibroid Centers
If you’re concerned that you may have fibroids or want an option other than invasive surgery, contact USA Fibroid Centers to request a consultation online or call us at 855-615-2555. We accept most insurances and also offer self pay options at our locations across the United States. No matter where we meet, we look forward to helping you regain control of your life.