How common are fibroids and what causes them?

Fibroids are very common. They are more common in African and South East Asian Women. They are less common in white women who have had babies. Nearly 50% of women who are reaching the menopause will have fibroids. We don’t know why women develop fibroids but they seem to grow under the influence of female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone. There seems to be a link to a woman’s genetics as we know they are more common in women from some countries. Fibroids do not grow before a woman starts getting her periods, so they certainly need hormones to grow. Fibroids shrink after menopause as a woman’s hormone levels start dropping. If a woman’s fibroids grow after menopause she needs to consult with a gynaecologist as this is not the natural history of fibroids and they must be further investigated.