Myoma is a benign uterine tumor. Tumors develop on the muscular wall of the uterus, or on the inside or outside of the uterus. The size and speed of myoma development vary considerably from case to case. Some myomas need many years to reach the size of the pea grain, while others develop to 75 mm in diameter – and more – in just a few years.
In most cases there are no symptoms, especially if myomas are small. However, abundant, prolonged and sometimes painful menstruations are possible. A large myoma can usually be felt as a hard, painless lump in the lower part of the abdominal cavity. If it presses the bladder, the tumor can make urination difficult. Sometimes the tumor can also cause pain during intercourse.
Myomas appear in about 20% of women who are older than 30. They are most common in the age group of 35 to 45 years.
In some cases, torsion of the myoma that is attached to the uterus may occur, in which case the tumor will no longer be supplied with blood or can begin to dry. If that happens, a sudden, abdominal pains are possible. This condition usually requires an immediate removal of the myoma. Myoma may grow to a size that prevents conception and, in some cases, begins to develop rapidly during pregnancy, causing pain, abortion, or birth defects. If you notice the symptoms mentioned, go to your doctor for examination. Sometimes myomas, which otherwise do not cause any symptoms, can be detected during a routine examination.
Small myomas, which do not cause any symptoms, do not require treatment. You will only have to go to the doctor every 6 to 12 months to check that tumors do not become too big. In women over 45, tumors can often become smaller or even disappear completely. If you have long and intensified menstrual periods due to myoma, or if you cannot become pregnant due to size of myoma, your doctor will refer you to a gynecologist. The gynecologist will probably send you to the hospital for a detailed examination and dilation to confirm the presence of myoma or exclude the presence of any other disease. Myomas that cause the disorder are removed surgically. If you do not intend to have children, you will probably be advised to remove the entire uterus. If you want to have children, myomas can often be removed without damaging the uterus.