Information about uterine fibroids
Minimally Invasive Therapy Unit & Endoscopy Training Centre
University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal Free Hospital
Pond Street
London NW3 2QG, UK


Background information
Treatment options
Treatment summary
Fibroid Clinic
Knowledge base
Other useful links
How to find us
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A new website for gynaecologists interested in the surgical management of fibroids is now on line.

Treatment options

Generally speaking, treatment for uterine fibroids is only indicated if they cause symptoms or if they are particularly large. Small fibroids are quite common, and often do not cause problems; in that case, there is no need for immediate treatment, and monitoring of the fibroids may be all that is needed.

However, if you do have symptoms which can be linked to fibroids, or if the fibroids are large (or getting larger), the choice of treatments will depend on:

Your age
Number of fibroids you have
How large they are
Where they are
Your main symptoms
Your wish for future fertility

For instance, if the fibroids are small and your main problem is one of heavy periods, medical therapy with drugs or hysteroscopic myomectomy may be successful. If the fibroids are larger but you wish to have children in the future, myomectomy or embolisation may be the best option for you. If your family is complete, or if the fibroids are relatively large, you may prefer to have a hysterectomy or undergo embolisation.

Click on the links below for further information:

Medical treatment Myomectomy
Hysterectomy Uterine artery emobilisation

Click here for a summary comparison of common treatment options for uterine fibroids.

What causes fibroids?

No one knows. We do know that the growht of pre-exisiting fibroids depend on ovarian hormones, especially oestrogen. The evidence for this is that fibroids do not occur before the menarche, and fibroids shrink after the menopause.

Because of the influence of racial origin on the incidence of fibroids, there must be a genetic aetiology. However, uterine fibroids are not a single-gene disorder.

Interestingly, no animals have the equivalent of fibroids as seen in women!