Fibroids: What Size Is Considered Dangerous?

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Dr. Manu Lakshmi

2 May 2024

What are Fibroids?

Fibroids, also known as uterine fibroids, are growths that develop in or on the uterus. They are benign and non-cancerous growths. These growths are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. They are not lethal but they can cause difficult issues like pain, fatigue, and others. 

The exact cause of fibroids is not known. Research is still being done to find out but several factors have been found that may influence their development:

  • Hormones: 

Estrogen and progesterone, hormones that stimulate the development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle, appear to promote the growth of fibroids.

  • Genetic changes: 

Many fibroids contain alterations in genes that differ from those in normal uterine muscle cells.

  • Other growth factors: 

Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like growth factors, may affect fibroid growth.

What are the Sizes of Fibroids?

Fibroids come in various sizes, ranging from as small as a seed to as large as a melon. The sizes are often described in terms of their diameter or in comparison to objects to help visualize their size. Here is a general classification based on size:

  • Small Fibroids

Diameter: Less than 1-2 centimeters (cm)

Comparison: Similar to the size of a pea or a blueberry

  • Medium Fibroids

Diameter: 2-6 centimeters (cm)

Comparison: Comparable to the size of a grape to a small plum

  • Large Fibroids

Diameter: Greater than 6 centimeters (cm)

Comparison: Similar to the size of a lemon, orange, or larger, such as a grapefruit or a melon in extreme cases

The size of fibroids can significantly affect symptoms and treatment options:

  • Small Fibroids: 

These often cause no symptoms and might be discovered incidentally during a pelvic exam or imaging for another reason.

  • Medium to Large Fibroids: 

These are more likely to cause symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure, frequent urination, constipation, and complications during pregnancy. Medium to large sizes for fibroids are dangerous.

Treatment for Differently Sized Fibroids:

The treatment approach may vary depending on the size of the fibroids and the severity of symptoms. 

Here’s a breakdown of the treatment options for small, medium, and large fibroids:

  • Small Fibroids

Monitoring the fibroids with regular check-ups without immediate treatment. Small fibroids often cause no symptoms and may not require treatment if they are not affecting health or quality of life.

Birth control pills, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, or other hormonal treatments can help manage symptoms like heavy bleeding.

  • Medium Fibroids

GnRH Agonists can be used to shrink fibroids temporarily, often before surgery.

Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a procedure that blocks blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink.

  • Large Fibroids

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Effective for larger fibroids but may not be suitable for extremely large or numerous fibroids.

If you have fibroids that require treatment, come to the Chennai Gynecology Clinic. We specialize in fibroid removal in Chennai and can discover the size of your fibroids to provide the correct treatment appropriate for their size.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a healthcare professional. If you have questions or concerns or you feel that you have symptoms regarding a health or medical condition, you are recommended to contact your physician or get in touch with for proper treatment.

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