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Baillieres Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 1998 Jun;12(2):177-95.

Clinical presentation of uterine fibroids.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Scotland.


It is often accepted that fibroids cause a variety of female reproductive problems, such as menorrhagia, pain, infertility, pregnancy loss and pregnancy complications. Understandably, therefore, many 'successful' medical or surgical interventions have been proposed. However, while fibroids are certainly commonly associated with these conditions, it remains unclear whether this is coincidental, because of the high prevalence of fibroids, or causal. In particular, this chapter explores the roles of fibroids in menorrhagia, discussing possible pathophysiological mechanisms and the utility of medical and surgical management. Similarly, the relationship between fibroids and infertility is examined, concluding that fibroids are not causative in the vast majority of cases and thereby questioning the effectiveness of myomectomy as a treatment for infertility. The use of hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women with existing fibroids is also discussed, concluding that this is generally safe and appropriate. In pregnancy, it is a commonly held tenet that uterine fibroids enlarge and that they are associated with various adverse outcomes such as miscarriage, placental abruption, fetal growth retardation and Caesarean section. This chapter evaluates the available evidence for this and concludes that, as with infertility, the role of fibroids has been exaggerated. Nonetheless, pregnancy management options are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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