Risk Factors for Fibroids

What are the risk factors with uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids usually affect women who are of child-bearing age and are often thought to shrink after menopause. Studies demonstrate the prevalence of fibroids in 20-40% of women older than 35 years of age Unfortunately, there are several risk factors that may be attributed to the development of fibroids. If you are African American, your fibroids frequently develop at a younger age, grow larger and are more symptomatic. While the exact cause of uterine fibroids remains unknown, researchers have identified several factors that may increase the risk of developing fibroids, including:


A family history of uterine fibroids may increase your risk, suggesting a genetic predisposition to their development.


Estrogen and progesterone, the primary female reproductive hormones, promote the growth of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle. These hormones may also contribute to the growth of fibroids.


Uterine fibroids are more common in women in their 30s and 40s, with the risk decreasing after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production.


African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids and at an earlier age compared to women of other ethnicities.


Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing fibroids compared to women of normal weight.


Diet and Alcohol Following a poor diet of processed foods and drinking excessive alcohol.


1. Wallach EE. Myomectomy. In: Thompson JD, Rock JA, eds. Te Linde’s Operative Gynecology, 7th ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1992; pp 647-662.

2. Huyck KL, Panhuysen CI, Cuenco KT, et al. The impact of race as a risk factor for symptom severity and age at diagnosis of uterine leiomyomata among affected sisters. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;198:168 e161–169.

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