doctor talking to patient about what are intramural uterine fibroids

What Are Intramural Fibroids?

One critical piece of information you should know is what type of fibroid you have.  There are different forms of uterine fibroids. Each type of uterine fibroid may bring on different symptoms, or perhaps none.

The most common type of uterine fibroid is the intramural fibroid. While some may not experience any symptoms, others may present with certain signs that can vary in intensity.  The severity and manifestation of an intramural fibroid’s symptoms can differ among individuals, and medical evaluation is recommended for proper diagnosis and management.

Intramural fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the muscles of the uterus. It grows within the uterine wall and can be large if left untreated. It’s common to have multiple intramural fibroids located in the same area. Doctors are unsure what causes the development of uterine fibroids. There is, however, a common theory the cause of uterine fibroids is abnormal cells in the wall of the uterus.

Do You Have an Intramural Fibroid?

However, not all of these women will experience symptoms. Genetics, hormonal changes, and lifestyle influence the growth of uterine fibroids.

Diagram of an intramural uterine fibroid.

Intramuscular fibroids: Location Matters

Intramural fibroids are classified based on their location in the uterus.

  • Anterior Intramural Fibroid —Forms in the front of the uterus
  • Posterior Intramural Fibroid Forms in the back of the uterus
  • Fundal Intramural Fibroid — Forms in the upper part of the uterus

Depending on their size, an intramural fibroid may be detected during a routine pelvic exam conducted by your doctor. Women who don’t experience symptoms may not know they have fibroids until they visit their doctor or OBGYN. Some cases require imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to make a formal diagnosis.

Uterine Fibroid Diagnosis

What Causes Intramural Fibroids?

Like other fibroids, the cause of intramural fibroids is largely unknown. Doctors believe hormones, especially estrogen, play a role in developing fibroids.

Can You Prevent Fibroids?

You can’t prevent the development of fibroids because you can’t change many of the risk factors which lead to this condition. For instance, family history and early onset of menopause are two factors thought to increase the risk. However, obesity is also linked to the increased risk of developing fibroids, which can be managed through diet and exercise.

Intramural Fibroid Symptoms

Intramural fibroids are common and can go undetected if they don’t produce noticeable symptoms. However, a symptomatic intramural fibroid can trigger physical problems impacting your daily life. The most common fibroid symptoms of fundal, posterior, and anterior intramural fibroids are pelvic pain, lower back pain, heavy periods, or bleeding in between periods. Excess menstrual bleeding can result in another problem: anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue. Anemia may even increase the risk of heart problems if left untreated.

Also, depending on the size, these kinds of fibroids can harm the bladder and bowels by putting extreme and even uncomfortable pressure on them. Uterine fibroids cause uncomfortable and even painful symptoms. These symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, and constipation.

Another common complaint with intramural fibroids is that they make the uterus feel larger or heavier.

If the intramural fibroid grows large enough, women may notice a protruding abdomen, often mistaken for pregnancy or weight gain.

Large intramural fibroids: A pregnancy risk

Also, intramural and submucosal fibroids can affect fertility and the ability to conceive.  Intramural fibroids can interfere with a woman’s ability to maintain a pregnancy. Fibroids are treatable, and most women experience complete relief from their symptoms.

Fibroids can affect each trimester of pregnancy

The symptoms of fibroids can make you worry that you’re suffering a miscarriage, with bleeding, pelvic pain, and cramps.

Learn More About Intramural Fibroids

Do Intramural Fibroids Cause Pain?

While many women don’t realize they have fibroids because there are no obvious signs, intramural intramural fibroids can cause pain. Like any other type of fibroid, they can cause severe cramping and pelvic pain. You can also feel pain in your back or pain during sex. Pain often worsens as the fibroids grow because they can press on other organs.  

Diagnosing Intramural Fibroids

Your doctor may diagnose fibroids during a pelvic exam. They may order one of the following:

  • Ultrasound, which creates a picture using sound waves
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses radio waves and magnets to create a picture of your uterus
  • CT (computed tomography scan) which takes X-ray images to create a detailed look at the uterus
  • HSG or hysterosalpingogram, which uses an X-ray dye to take X-rays of the uterus

Some doctors use laparoscopy or hysteroscopy to look at your internal organs. A laparoscopy uses a tiny instrument with a camera inserted into an incision in the abdomen to view the organs. A hysteroscopy uses an instrument inserted into the vagina to see the uterus. 

Additional Types of Fibroids

While anterior, posterior, and fundal intramural fibroids are the most typical kind of uterine fibroids, there are other types of fibroids that you should know about as well:

Subserosal fibroids grow outside the uterus and often come with an enlarged uterus. Because the subserosal fibroid is not located in the uterus, it has a lot of room to grow and may become as large as a grapefruit before symptoms appear.

Submucosal fibroids: These tend to be more uncommon than other uterine fibroids and can develop in both the uterine wall and the uterus. Women who suffer from submucosal fibroids experience heavy bleeding during and between their menstrual periods.

Pedunculated fibroids: Subserosal fibroids can grow what looks like stalks that connect the fibroid to the uterus, and those stalks are called pedunculated fibroids. This fibroid type can be very painful if the stalk becomes twisted.

A labeled medical diagram or types of Uterine Fibroids.

How Do You Treat Intramural Fibroids

At USA Fibroid Centers, our fibroid specialists offer a non-surgical treatment for uterine fibroids called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). An interventional radiologist performs this proven procedure in our outpatient clinics without needing a hospital stay or a lengthy recovery period. Patients receive a light sedative, and the procedure begins with a small incision in the groin area. An ultrasound is then used to guide a catheter through the incision and into the uterine artery supplying blood to the fibroids. Once the artery has been located, tiny particles flow through the catheter and block the blood supply to the fibroid. This causes the fibroid to shrink and eventually die.

The UFE procedure is attractive to many women because it does not involve surgery, allowing women to keep their uterus intact. Many of our patients can expect to start seeing results within the first month following treatment — fibroid pain and symptoms should decrease, and women may experience a shorter menstrual cycle. 

Contact USA Fibroid Centers to find relief for your intramural uterine fibroids today. Call us at (855) 615-2555 or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.

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