The Types of Fibroids
Have you been diagnosed with uterine fibroids? If so, you may be interested to learn that there are several different types. Fibroids are generally classified by location and can vary in size and number. Although not everyone experiences fibroid symptoms, the location, size, and number of fibroids involved tend to impact their severity.
Medical imaging tools like ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) can provide detailed information about your fibroids as well as guide you towards the best treatment decision that fits your individual needs. For expert care, we recommend consulting a fibroid specialist to explore your options.
How Many Types of Fibroids Are There?
There are a number of different types of uterine fibroids. Below, we provide a brief overview of the five main kinds of fibroids.
Different Types of Uterine Fibroids
An intramural fibroid grows within the muscular walls of the uterus. If you have small intramural fibroids, you may not be aware of their existence or experience only mild symptoms. As the fibroids grow larger, you may develop more severe symptoms that can eventually impact your quality of life.
Common symptoms of intramural fibroids include:
- Heavy periods that last 10 days or more
- Irregular bleeding between periods
- Pelvic or lower back pain
A subserosal fibroid grows on the outside of the uterus, bulging into the pelvic or abdominal cavity. It can be attached to the uterus directly or via a thin stalk called a peduncle. As with other types of fibroids, subserosal fibroids can vary in size and number.
Subserosal fibroid symptoms tend to be somewhat different from those of intramural fibroids. For instance, women often experience fewer uterine issues and more symptoms involving neighboring organs like the bladder, rectum, or intestines
Common symptoms of subserosal fibroids include:
- A feeling of heaviness or fullness within the pelvic region
- Frequent urination
- Constipation or bloating
- Abdominal pain and cramping
Depending on their size and location, subserosal fibroids can sometimes cause an expanded uterus. Consequently, this may cause your abdominal region to extend and mimic the look of a pregnancy. If you have taken a pregnancy test and it has come back negative or inconclusive, consult your doctor to see if you could have uterine fibroids.
A submucosal fibroid develops within the innermost lining of the uterus, or endometrium. Submucosal fibroids can develop individually or in clusters and vary in size. This type of fibroid is the one most likely to cause heavy menstrual bleeding.
Common symptoms of submucosal fibroids include:
- Heavy or prolonged menstruation
- Bleeding between periods
- Anemia, fatigue, or dizziness
- Pelvic or lower back pain
- Passing frequent or large blood clots (bigger than a quarter)
A pedunculated fibroid is a type of fibroid that is attached to the uterine wall by a stalk, or peduncle. There are two subtypes, based on location:
- Pedunculated subserosal fibroids: Develop outside the uterus
- Pedunculated submucosal fibroids: Develop inside the uterus
Pedunculated fibroids may cause sharp stabbing pains when the fibroid rotates on the peduncle, interfering with the blood flow to the fibroid.
A calcified uterine fibroid is one that has outgrown its blood supply. When this occurs, you may experience a painful process called fibroid degeneration during which a portion of the fibroid dies. Calcium deposits can then develop on top of the remaining fibroid tissue causing it to become hardened.
Although calcification usually occurs after menopause, it can also happen during the reproductive years of a woman’s life. Calcified fibroids can sometimes result in new or increased symptoms, including:
- Frequent urination
- Severe abdominal pain or pressure
What Are The Differences Between All The Types of Fibroids?
We know understanding how the types of uterine fibroids differ can be extremely confusing. The best way to know what type your fibroids are is to get a pelvic exam, ultrasound, or MRI from a fibroid specialist.
However, if you’ve gone to an expert and just want to learn more, we’ve compiled an easy to understand chart depicting the various locations, common symptoms, and key points.
Schedule a Treatment Consultation with USA Fibroid Centers Today
At USA Fibroid Centers, we specialize in performing a nonsurgical, office-based fibroid treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE can help alleviate symptoms from different types of uterine fibroids.
To discover whether you are a candidate for Uterine Fibroid Embolization, we encourage you to consult with one of our top-rated specialists. To book an appointment, give us a call at 855.615.2555 or use our online scheduling form. Additionally, you canvisit one of 90 clinic locations or schedule a virtual doctor visit.