Epidemiology and management of uterine fibroids

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Apr;149(1):3-9. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13102. Epub 2020 Feb 17.


Uterine leiomyomas are one of the most common and yet understudied diseases in women. These tumors, commonly known as fibroids, affect women mainly during their reproductive years and are diagnosed in up to 70% of white women and more than 80% of women of African ancestry during their lifetime. This disease has a profound impact on health care delivery and costs worldwide. Though most women with fibroids are asymptomatic, approximately 30% of them will present with severe symptoms which can include abnormal uterine bleeding, anemia, pelvic pain and pressure, back pain, urinary frequency, constipation, or infertility, and will require intervention. Furthermore, fibroids have been associated with poor obstetrical outcomes. The current options for symptomatic fibroid treatment include expectant, medical, and surgical management, and interventional radiology procedures. This article reviews the recent progress and available management strategies for uterine fibroids and highlights areas where further research is needed to find new therapeutic targets and better personalize treatments.

Keywords: Abnormal uterine bleeding; Leiomyomas; Uterine fibroids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / epidemiology
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Leiomyoma / therapy*
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Uterine Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / therapy*