Donate to Uterine Fibroids Research, Patient Care and Education

Uterine fibroids are dense tumors found in the uterus that are formed from smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. Though not all cases are diagnosed, three out of four women have experienced fibroids at some point during their childbearing years. Fibroids vary in size and can be found both inside and outside of the uterus. Northwestern Medicine is home to a team of skilled medical professionals with extensive training in the area of uterine fibroids. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will provide these specialists with the necessary resources to develop and implement the most effective diagnostic tools and treatments for uterine fibroids.

The cause of uterine fibroids is not quite clear, but some physicians believe that tumors form from abnormal muscle cells in the uterus. Physicians do know that women who are close to menopause are at the greatest risk for fibroids because of their prolonged exposure to estrogen. Other risk factors include a family history of fibroids, a diet heavy in red meat, high blood pressure, and being both African-American and obese. Scientists at Northwestern Medicine work tirelessly to learn more about the inner workings of uterine fibroids. Donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will allow for the continuation of research in the area of uterine fibroids, in hopes that fewer people will be affected by this condition.

The severity of the symptoms caused by uterine fibroids depends on the woman. Many women experience no symptoms at all, while others suffer from many symptoms including:

  • Heavy or long periods
  • Pelvic pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Lower back pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • A firm mass near the middle of the pelvis

Not all uterine fibroids require treatment. Some may shrink during menopause, and others are small enough that they do not cause any complications. If treatment is required, Northwestern Medicine offers a number of options. The type of treatment chosen is dependent on various factors including severity, age and desire to get pregnant in the future. Common treatments for uterine fibroids include:

  • Myomectomy: Fibroids are removed, but the uterus stays intact
  • Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists: Lowers the estrogen level
  • Uterine artery embolization: Arteries supplying blood to the fibroids are blocked causing them to shrink
  • Anti-hormonal medication: Medications that block estrogen to shrink fibroids
  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers: Eases pelvic pain or discomfort

Your Uterine Fibroids Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Northwestern Medicine is nationally recognized for its team of physicians specializing in uterine fibroid embolization, which can provide needed relief to women suffering from pain, heavy bleeding and other symptoms associated with uterine fibroids. With your generous donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, physicians will be able to continue advancing UFE and other treatments for uterine fibroids, so that women can live their lives to the fullest. Furthermore, additional funding will give medical professionals at Northwestern Medicine the ability to continue research to discover the underlying cause for this painful and challenging condition.

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