Uterine fibroid, also known as uterine leiomyomas or myomas, are one of the most common medical conditions affecting at least one out of every four women. These are benign tumors formed from the muscular layer of the uterus. Women with fibroids may or may not experience any outer symptoms. Therefore, fibroid are often detected only during a routine pelvic examination. On the basis of their location, uterine fibroid tumors can be categorized into three different types: subserosal fibroids, intramural fibroids and submucosal fibroids.
What are Intramural Fibroids?
Intramural fibroids are one of the most common types of uterine fibroids, found in 70% of women of childbearing age. Unlike subserous fibroid which develop on the outside covering of the uterus, and submucosal fibroid, which develop just under the lining of the uterine cavity, intramural fibroids develop within the wall of the uterus.
Intramural fibroids begin as small nodules in the muscular wall of the uterus. With time, intramural fibroids may expand inwards, causing distortion and elongation of the uterine cavity. Sometimes these fibroid tumors may grow towards the endometrial cavity to become submucosal fibroids or they may even grow towards the outer surface of the uterus to become subserosal fibroids.
The exact cause of Intramural fibroid is not known. Fibroids begin when cells overgrow in the muscular wall of the uterus.
After a fibroid develops, the hormones estrogen and progesterone appear to influence its growth. A woman’s body produces the highest levels of these hormones during her childbearing years. After menopause, when hormone levels decline, fibroids usually shrink or disappear.
Intramural fibroid can grow on the inside wall of the uterus, within the muscle wall of the uterus, or on the outer wall of the uterus. They can alter the shape of the uterus as they grow. Over time, the size, shape, location, and symptoms of fibroids can change.
As women age, they are more likely to have fibroid especially from their 30s and 40s through menopause (around age 50). Fibroids can stay the same for years with few or no symptoms, or you can have a sudden, rapid growth of fibroids.
Fibroids do not grow before the start of menstrual periods (puberty). They sometimes grow larger during the first trimester of pregnancy and they usually shrink for the rest of a pregnancy. After menopause when a woman’s hormone levels drop, fibroids usually shrink and don’t come back.
Symptoms of Intramural fibroid
- Abnormal uterine bleeding, heavy or long periods.
- Bulk and pressure symptoms.
- Bladder pressure, frequent urination.
- Rectal pressure, constipation.
- Infertility or recurrent miscarriages/pregnancy loss.
- Pregnancy complications.
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