Uterine fibroids are growths arising from the muscle wall of the uterus. It is a round and firm structure amid the soft muscle layer. When cut open, the pale and dense cut surface gives us the impression that it is a growth of densely packed fibrous tissue. The growth attracts the common name of fibroid because of these characteristics.
In medical term, fibroid is known as leiomyoma. It reflects the true nature that the growth is a benign (not cancerous) tumour developed from abnormal muscle cells of the uterus, not fibrous tissue.
Uterine fibroids are the most common noncancerous growths in women. They can develop in women of any age after the onset of menstruation. The incidence increases with age. By 40 years old, more than 50 percent of women would have one or more fibroids. It is not uncommon to see mother and daughters or sisters in the same family with uterine fibroids.