How many types of fibroids are there?

There are four primary types of fibroids: intramural, subserosal, submucosal, and pedunculated. Each type is classified by its location in the uterus and can vary in size from a few millimeters in diameter up to a few inches. The types of uterine fibroids present, their location in the uterus, and their size all influence the symptoms experienced along with the treatment needed.

Fibroids Diagram

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Intramural Fibroids

What are intramural fibroids?

Intramural fibroids grow between the muscles of the uterus. They are the most common type of uterine fibroids.

While it is unknown exactly what causes intramural fibroids, some medical professionals believe they are the result of abnormal muscle cells present in the middle layer of the uterine wall. These abnormal cells then develop into a noncancerous tumor when heavily influenced by estrogen.

Where are they found in the uterus?

Intramural fibroids initially develop in the muscular wall of the uterus; however, they able to expand and grow into other regions. The three different types of intramural fibroids are classified by their location:

  • Anterior intramural fibroids: found in the front of the uterus
  • Posterior intramural fibroids: found in the back of the uterus
  • Fundal intramural fibroids: found in the upper part of the uterus

What are the symptoms?

Like with all types of fibroids, symptoms can fluctuate from mildly bothersome to extremely disruptive. Sometimes patients may even confuse symptoms with pregnancy or weight gain as the tumor causes the uterus to bloat. Other symptoms of intramural fibroids include:

  • Severe pelvic pain and/or lower back pain
  • Heavy and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycles

Treatment for Intramural Fibroids

If left untreated, intramural fibroids may cause severe discomfort, frequent urination, or heavy menstrual bleeding. When fibroid symptoms interfere with your ability to enjoy everyday life, action is needed.

Uterine fibroid embolization is a quick, non-invasive procedure that blocks blood to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and eliminating symptoms. Contact Alate Health today to request an appointment and find out if UFE is right for you.

Submucosal Fibroids

What are submucosal fibroids?

Submucosal fibroids are the least common type of uterine fibroids yet one of the most likely to cause fertility issues due to their location in the uterine cavity. If a submucosal fibroid grows large enough in size, it may block the fallopian tubes, leading to fertility complications.

Submucosal fibroids can be diagnosed through a routine pelvic exam if the uterus feels irregular or distorted. A traditional ultrasound can provide insight into the position of the fibroids as well as the size.

Where are they found in the uterus?

Submucosal fibroids originate below the inner lining of the uterus called the endometrium and protrude into the uterine cavity. There are two types of submucosal fibroids:

  • Anterior submucosal fibroids: found in the front of the uterus
  • Posterior submucosal fibroids: found in the back of the uterus

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of submucosal fibroids vary widely as some patients may experience severe symptoms and others may be asymptomatic. This type of uterine fibroids typically impacts blood vessels, resulting in pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding.

If left untreated, prolonged menstrual periods can result in more serious complications such as chronic fatigue and anemia, which may require blood transfusions based on the severity.

Submucosal Fibroids Treatment

To treat submucosal fibroids, your doctor may suggest invasive surgeries you may be resistant to such as a hysterectomy or myomectomy. Thankfully, you have other options.

Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive procedure with no hospitalization required. Request an appointment today to speak with the fibroid specialists at Alate Health and learn if UFE is right for you.

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Subserosal Fibroids

What is a subserosal fibroid?

Subserosal fibroids are bumps on the outside wall of the uterus.

Where are they found in the uterus?

Subserosal fibroids develop underneath the outer uterine layer known as the serosa. They grow outward and, as they increase in size, place additional pressure on surrounding organs. The womb may also appear to be larger on one side as the tumors continue to expand in size.

What are the symptoms?

Due to their location on the outer uterine wall, subserosal fibroids do not typically cause abnormal or prolonged menstrual bleeding. As the tumors grow, they instead cause severe pelvic and back pain caused by pressing on neighboring organs. Increased urination due to pressure on the bladder is another common symptom of subserosal fibroids.

Treatment for Subserosal Fibroids

In the past, common treatments for subserosal fibroids included invasive and difficult surgeries such as hysterectomies and myomectomies. However, uterine fibroid embolization uses the latest technology to treat symptoms of fibroids without unnecessary pain and hospitalization. Contact Alate Health today to learn more about how UFE can help you love life again.

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Pedunculated Fibroids

What is a pedunculated fibroid?

Pedunculated fibroids are benign growths attached to the uterine wall. They get their name from the unique, stalk-like growths called peduncles that support the tumor.

The cause of these uterine fibroids is unknown, but their growth may be attributed to hormones and heredity factors. Pregnant women and women with a family history of fibroids have an increased risk for developing pedunculated fibroids.

Where are they found in the uterus?

These types of uterine fibroids can be found both inside and outside of the uterus:

  • Pedunculated submucosal fibroids: grow inside of the uterus
  • Pedunculated subserosal fibroids: grow on the outside of the uterus

Similar to other types of fibroids, pedunculated fibroids may be diagnosed during a pelvic exam, or an ultrasound may reveal the number of fibroids present along with their size and position.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of pedunculated fibroids include:

  • Severe pelvic pain
  • Abdominal pressure
  • Intense cramping
  • Prolonged menstrual bleeding

Women may also feel sharp pain if the fibroid rotates on its stem, interrupting blood flood to the tumor. Symptoms may also worsen if the fibroid grows into the uterus and begins to twist.

Pedunculated Fibroids Treatment

If you are experiencing pain caused by pedunculated fibroids, your doctor may recommend various treatment options including a myomectomy, an invasive, surgical procedure to remove fibroids.

At Alate Health, we believe in providing minimally invasive treatment that allows our patients to eliminate their fibroid pain without the additional risks other pedunculated fibroids treatments may pose. Request an appointment today to talk about your options with our fibroid specialists.