Fibroids are lumps of smooth muscle tissue found in the wall of the uterus. They look and feel a bit like “gristle” that you might find in meat. Doctors use many different words to say the same thing. A fibroid can be called a leiomyoma or a myoma or a fibromyoma. These words all mean the same thing – fibroid.
Fibroids are nearly always benign (not cancer) but very rarely (about 1:2000 to 1:1000) cases the fibroid will in fact be a type of cancer called a sarcoma.
Fibroids can be found in all parts of the uterus – they can be growing on the inside of the uterus – we call these submucosal fibroids. They can be in the wall of the uterus – called intramural fibroids. They can be growing on the outside of the uterus – serosal fibroids or they can be on stalks on the outside of the uterus called pedunculated fibroids. Imagine these to be a bit like a mushroom on a stalk.
Fibroids can be very small and insignificant or they can grow to a huge size – even larger than a heavily pregnant woman.