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- Fibroids are benign tumours that develop in the wall of the uterus.
- They are firm masses of smooth muscle encapsulated in compressed muscle fibres.
Fibroids are named depending on where they occur:
- Fibroids are common: it is predicted that 25 per cent of women will develop fibroids during their reproductive years.
- Fibroid tumours can be asymptomatic.
- A pelvic examination. If there are fibroids present then the uterus is found to be enlarged and distorted.
- In many cases women require no treatment and their fibroid tumours will atrophy after the menopause.
- An important aspect is information and support. Women tend to equate the word tumour with malignancy, so nurses may need to give repeated reassurance and explanation that the fibroid tumour is benign.
- Uterine artery embolisation - a catheter is passed into a blood vessel in the groin and the small artery that leads to the fibroid is blocked off; this causes the fibroid to shrink.
Linton, A. et al (2000)Introductory Nursing Care of Adults. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders.