Jefferson University Hospitals

Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids are benign tumors arising from the muscular walls of the uterus. Fibroids can interfere with getting pregnant and may also contribute to pregnancy losses. Over time, fibroids can enlarge and new fibroids may develop, making it even more difficult to become and stay pregnant.

Common symptoms of fibroids include an enlarged pelvic or abdominal mass, heavy, frequent and prolonged periods, low blood count (anemia), pain with intercourse, painful periods and frequent urination. Depending upon the size and location of the fibroids, some women with fibroids will experience no symptoms at all.

If you have fibroids, we can help. The Jefferson Fibroid Center pioneered the concept of a multidisciplinary center dedicated to the treatment of uterine fibroids. In collaboration with radiologists, counselors and minimally invasive surgeons, the fertility specialists of Reproductive Medicine Associates (RMA) at Jefferson in Philadelphia can help to evaluate and treat fibroids in order to minimize symptoms and maximize current or future fertility potential.

How are Fibroids Diagnosed?

Fibroids are easily identified using ultrasound. Fibroid locations may be further evaluated by the use of MRI, hysteroscopy, hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or a saline infusion sonogram (SIS/SHG), a simple office procedure where sterile saline is passed into the uterus during an ultrasound exam.

Fibroids located near or within the uterine cavity may cause recurrent pregnancy loss or infertility.

How are Fibroids Treated?

Depending upon the location, size and symptoms of fibroids, some women will not require treatment whereas others may be treated surgically or with medication.

In women with multiple fibroids, especially fibroids that are large and symptomatic, abdominal or laparoscopic removal of fibroids (i.e., myomectomy) may be performed. Other treatments include uterine fibroid embolization (performed by a radiologist), endometrial ablation and hysterectomy. Appropriate counseling and treatment options will depend on many factors including the nature of the fibroids, the woman's age and her fertility aspirations.

Pregnancy rates following surgery are often high. Even small fibroids located within the uterine cavity should be removed, because these can interfere with achieving or maintaining a pregnancy. Smaller fibroids can often be removed by hysteroscopy, an outpatient surgery that involves operating through the vagina and cervix.

Occasionally women are diagnosed with developmental or acquired uterine defects that may also contribute to infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss. These conditions can sometimes be treated surgically or, in other cases, may require a surrogate (also called gestational carrier) to carry and deliver a baby.

Learn More About Our Gestational Carrier Program >

See Our Exceptional Pregnancy Success Rates with IVF >

Why Choose Jefferson for Fibroids Treatment?

Through the collaborative efforts of the Jefferson Fibroid Center with the Reproductive Medicine Associates at Jefferson, you will have access to a team of physicians and nurses who can diagnose fibroids and will offer appropriate treatments that will preserve and promote fertility.

Schedule an Appointment with an Ob-Gyn

To schedule an appointment with the Fibroid Center, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) or use the online appointment form.

To schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, please call 215-922-1556. Flexible financing options, a refund guarantee program, military and first-responder discounts, and financial aid programs each aim to make our world-class care as widely available as possible. To reach out to a financial counselor, please e-mail info@rmaphiladelphia.com.