A fibroma, also known as a uterine fibroid, is a non-cancerous tumor that often appears in the smooth muscle layer of the uterus. As many as 70 percent of women may have a fibroma, but only roughly 25 percent of women of reproductive age experience symptoms.
It is unclear what causes a fibroma to form, but researchers believe it may be caused by hormones in the body, and that a woman's genes may play a role. A fibroma may be so small that it can be hard to see without a microscope, or it may grow so large that it fills the entire uterus and weighs several pounds.
Symptoms of fibroma
Many women with a fibroma have no symptoms, and are only aware that they have the condition after a fibroma is discovered during a pelvic exam or other test.
Common symptoms of a fibroma include:
Heavy uterine bleeding during a period, or bleeding between periods
Periods that last longer than normal
Needing to urinate frequently
Pelvic pressure, cramping or pain
Pain during sexual intercourse
Feeling fullness or pressure in the belly
Infertility and pregnancy complications
Treatment for fibroma
Surgical treatment for a fibroma includes:
Hysterectomy. This is the most common treatment for a fibroma, and involves removing the entire uterus.
Myomectomy. For women who want to preserve the chance of getting pregnant, a myomectomy is the best surgical option. This involves removing the tumor surgically, through traditional surgery, laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, or hysteroscopic surgery.
Other techniques. A new technique for treating a fibroma uses radiofrequency ablation guided by a laparoscopic ultrasound device.
Non-surgical treatment options include:
Medicine. A variety of drugs are available that can help reduce the size of the tumor and control heavy bleeding.
Uterine fibroid embolization. This fibroid treatment uses a catheter to deliver agents to the fibroma that can block the blood vessels feeding the tumor.
Focused ultrasound (FUS). This is a noninvasive treatment that uses high-frequency sound waves to destroy a fibroma by targeting the proteins in the tumor.
Fibroma evaluation and treatment at BWH
The Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) provides comprehensive care for women with a wide range of gynecological conditions, including pelvic pain, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, cervical incompetence, abdominal uterine bleeding and uterine fibroids.