What causes fibroids in women?


Quick Answer

The causes of uterine fibroids are unknown, but estrogen is responsible for their growth, states WebMD. Studies show that women with sufficient amounts of Vitamin D are 32 percent less likely to develop fibroids than women with insufficient levels, according to the National Institute of Health as cited by Healthline.

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Full Answer

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths composed of uterus muscle cells that begin to grow abnormally inside a woman’s uterus, explains WebMD. Fibroids develop after puberty, usually around age 30, and shrink or disappear when estrogen levels fall at menopause. Fibroids cause pain and bleeding and are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States, according to Healthline.

African-American women get fibroids two to three times as often as white women and display more symptoms, states WebMD. Other causative factors include early menstruation and family history. Women whose first period was before age 10 are more likely to have uterine fibroids. Women whose mothers and sisters have fibroids are also more likely to have them.

Possible protection from fibroids may come from pregnancy and birth control pill usage. Women who have given birth are less likely to have fibroids, and women taking birth control pills develop significantly fewer fibroids, states WebMD.

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