Understanding Fibroids: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

gynecologist doctor

In London, the Rylon Clinic stands out as a premier destination for private treatment of fibroids, under the expert guidance of Mr Osama Naji, our Clinic Director and a renowned Consultant Gynaecologist. Mr Naji’s expertise, honed at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and through his groundbreaking research at Imperial College London, ensures our patients receive the most advanced and minimally invasive treatments for fibroids. At Rylon Clinic, we combine cutting-edge technology with a patient-focused approach, offering personalised care that embodies Mr Naji’s compassionate and expert methodology. This commitment positions Rylon Clinic at the forefront of fibroid treatment in London, delivering exceptional healthcare outcomes for our patients.

Fibroid Symptoms

Heavy Bleeding

Fibroids often lead to abnormal or heavy bleeding, one of the most common signs of their presence. This symptom arises due to the location and growth of fibroids within the uterine wall. When fibroids develop near the inner lining of the uterus, they can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, leading to heavier and more prolonged bleeding. This is often because fibroids can cause an increase in the surface area of the lining and impact the normal contraction of uterine muscles, which helps to stop menstrual bleeding. Additionally, fibroids can alter the blood flow to the uterus, contributing to heavier bleeding. This symptom can significantly affect a woman’s quality of life, leading to discomfort and, in some cases, causing anaemia due to excessive blood loss. The treatment and management of heavy bleeding associated with fibroids are therefore a critical aspect of gynaecological care at the Rylon Clinic.

Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is a notable symptom associated with fibroids, manifesting in various intensities and durations depending on individual circumstances. Fibroids, particularly larger ones, can exert pressure on surrounding organs and tissues, leading to discomfort or sharp pain in the abdominal area. This pain may be constant or fluctuate with the menstrual cycle, often intensifying during periods due to the increased size of fibroids influenced by hormonal changes. In some cases, the pain might also stem from a fibroid undergoing degeneration, where its growth outpaces its blood supply, causing acute discomfort. At Rylon Clinic, understanding the root cause of abdominal pain and its relation to fibroids is a key aspect of our diagnostic process, ensuring tailored treatment plans for effective symptom management.

Pressure Symptoms

Fibroids can also lead to pressure symptoms, particularly impacting the bladder or bowel, resulting in both discomfort and functional issues. When fibroids grow to a significant size or are positioned near these organs, they can exert pressure, leading to frequent urination, an urgent need to urinate, or difficulty emptying the bladder completely. This pressure can also affect the bowel, potentially causing constipation or discomfort during bowel movements. These symptoms are not only physically troubling but can also affect a patient’s daily life and well-being. At Rylon Clinic, addressing these pressure symptoms is crucial, ensuring a comprehensive approach to fibroid treatment that considers the full spectrum of a patient’s experience.


Fibroids can significantly impact fertility, particularly among younger women of reproductive age. They may obstruct the fallopian tubes, hindering the movement of sperm or eggs, or alter the shape of the uterus, affecting implantation. In some cases, fibroids can change the uterine environment, making it less conducive to sustaining a pregnancy, leading to recurrent miscarriages. It’s important to understand that not all fibroids cause infertility, and their impact can vary based on size, number, and location. At Rylon Clinic, evaluating and treating fibroids in women seeking pregnancy is a critical aspect of our care, aiming to enhance fertility prospects while addressing the complexities fibroids may introduce into reproductive health.

In private healthcare settings, such as at Rylon Clinic, patients benefit from significantly shorter waiting times for both initial consultations and follow-up appointments. This expedited access is crucial, particularly for individuals facing severe pressure symptoms due to fibroids. For instance, Mr Naji recalls a patient who urgently sought private care due to a large fibroid pressing on her kidney, leading to kidney failure. Such severe cases are becoming increasingly common with extended NHS waiting times for surgery. Swift access in private healthcare allows for immediate assessment and timely initiation of treatment, which is essential in preventing serious complications like organ impairment.

What Causes Fibroids?

The exact causes of fibroids are not fully understood, but several factors are believed to contribute to their development:

  1. Hormonal Factors: Estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that stimulate the development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle, are thought to promote the growth of fibroids.
  2. Genetic Factors: There is often a hereditary component, as fibroids tend to run in families.
  3. Growth Factors: Substances that help the body maintain tissues, like insulin-like growth factor, may affect fibroid growth.
  4. Extracellular Matrix (ECM): ECM is the material that makes cells stick together, and it is more abundant in fibroids than in normal uterine tissue, which may influence their growth.
  5. Other Factors: Age, race, family history, early onset of menstruation, obesity, vitamin D deficiency, diet, and environmental factors may also play roles in the development of fibroids.

Treatment Options

Fibroid Size

The size of fibroids plays a pivotal role in determining the course of treatment and the severity of symptoms a patient might experience. Smaller fibroids, often unnoticed, typically do not cause significant health issues. However, as fibroids increase in size, they can start exerting pressure on surrounding organs, leading to symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, abdominal pain, and pressure effects on the bladder and bowel. Large fibroids can also impact fertility and pregnancy outcomes. At Rylon Clinic, the assessment of fibroid size is an essential step in developing an effective and personalised treatment plan, focusing on reducing symptoms and improving overall quality of life.

Fibroid location

The location of fibroids within the uterus is a crucial factor in assessing their impact on a woman’s health. Fibroids can be intramural (within the muscle wall), submucosal (under the lining of the uterus), or subserosal (on the outer wall of the uterus). Submucosal fibroids, due to their proximity to the uterine lining, can significantly disrupt menstrual bleeding and fertility. Intramural fibroids, depending on their size and exact location, might also impact menstrual flow and uterine function. Subserosal fibroids, while often less likely to affect menstrual bleeding or fertility, can cause discomfort and pressure symptoms due to their outward growth. At Rylon Clinic, understanding the specific location of fibroids is integral to tailoring treatment approaches that address these varied implications effectively.

Fibroid Quantity

The quantity of fibroids a patient has is an important aspect of their diagnosis and treatment. Multiple small fibroids, even if individually insignificant, can collectively cause symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding or pelvic discomfort. In contrast, a single large fibroid might present more pronounced symptoms. The cumulative effect of multiple fibroids can also influence treatment options, as the approach may differ from managing a single fibroid. At Rylon Clinic, assessing the number of fibroids is a critical step in creating a comprehensive treatment plan, tailored to address the specific challenges posed by the quantity of fibroids.

Fibroids and menopause

Fibroids and their relationship with menopause present a unique set of challenges. As women approach their late 40s, hormonal imbalances, particularly in oestrogen and progesterone, become more common. This hormonal shift can exacerbate fibroid symptoms, making them more problematic during this phase. Additionally, women seeking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to address menopausal symptoms may find that their fibroids react to these hormonal changes, potentially flaring up. This reaction can diminish the effectiveness of HRT and complicate its use, making the management of fibroids during the menopausal transition a critical aspect of gynaecological care at Rylon Clinic.

smiling menopause woman

Fibroids Post Menopause

Fibroids in women over 50 present unique considerations. Although the majority of fibroids are benign, there is a slight increase in risk for malignancy, such as uterine sarcoma, in this age group. This risk, though relatively low, is gaining more attention due to improved diagnostic capabilities and an overall rise in cancer awareness. Consequently, the management of fibroids in women approaching or in their 50s requires careful monitoring. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), often used to manage menopausal symptoms, might be contraindicated in cases where there is a suspicion of malignant transformation in the fibroids. At Rylon Clinic, we approach such cases with heightened vigilance and a tailored strategy to ensure patient safety and optimal care.

The approach to treating fibroids at Rylon Clinic is highly individualised, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Treatment decisions are based on a comprehensive evaluation of the fibroids, utilising advanced imaging techniques like ultrasound and MRI. These tools help determine the fibroids’ size, number, location, and proximity to the uterine cavity. By correlating these factors with the patient’s symptoms, we tailor a treatment plan that specifically addresses each woman’s unique condition. This personalised approach ensures not only the effectiveness of the treatment but also aligns with our commitment to providing care with individualised excellence.

Private Treatment – Costs and Benefits

The cost of private treatment for fibroids at the Rylon Clinic is as individualised as the treatment itself. Not all fibroid cases necessitate surgery, with only a small proportion requiring this approach. The cost is influenced by various factors, including the patient’s overall health, the complexity of the surgery, and individual risk factors such as high BMI or a history of multiple operations. These considerations contribute to the surgical complexity and, in turn, impact the cost. For a detailed understanding of the financial aspects of private gynaecology treatment, we recommend referring to our blog “Private gynaecology treatment. How much does it cost the financial journey,” which offers more comprehensive insights into the cost structure.

Choosing the Rylon Clinic for fibroid treatment offers patients a multitude of benefits, anchored by the expertise and compassionate approach of our Clinic Director, Mr Osama Naji. His distinguished background, including a pivotal role at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and a research doctorate from Imperial College London, ensures that patients receive care grounded in the latest advancements in gynaecology. Our clinic’s approach is notably individualised, focusing on each patient’s unique needs, and is backed by state-of-the-art diagnostic tools like ultrasound and MRI for precise treatment planning. Moreover, the Rylon Clinic is dedicated to minimally invasive techniques, aiming for effective treatment with quicker recovery times. This, combined with Mr Naji’s kind and patient-focused demeanour, makes Rylon Clinic an ideal choice for women seeking specialised care in fibroid treatment.

FAQs regarding fibroids and their treatment:

1. What are fibroids?

   Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumours that grow in or on the uterus. They vary in size and can occur singly or in multiples.

2. What are the common symptoms of fibroids?

   Symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged periods, pelvic pain or pressure, frequent urination, and in some cases, infertility.

3. How are fibroids diagnosed?

   Fibroids are often diagnosed through pelvic examinations, ultrasounds, and MRI scans, which help determine their size, number, and location.

4. What treatment options are available for fibroids?

   Treatment varies depending on the size, location, and symptoms. Options include medication, hormonal therapy, minimally invasive procedures like Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), and surgeries such as myomectomy or hysterectomy.

5. Can fibroids affect fertility?

   While many women with fibroids can conceive naturally, fibroids can sometimes affect fertility by interfering with the implantation of the embryo or the function of the uterus.

6. Do fibroids need to be treated if they aren’t causing symptoms?

   Not necessarily. If fibroids are not causing symptoms, they may just need to be monitored. Treatment is usually recommended only when symptoms are present and affecting quality of life.

7. Can fibroids return after treatment?

   Fibroids can recur, particularly after procedures that remove the fibroids but leave the uterus intact. The risk of recurrence depends on the type of treatment and other factors like age and hormonal changes.

8. Is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) safe for women with fibroids?

   HRT may exacerbate fibroids in some women, particularly if the fibroids are sensitive to hormones. It’s important to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare provider. 

Remember, these answers are general and may not apply to every individual case. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.


In conclusion, fibroids are a common gynecological condition with a complex interplay of hormonal, genetic, and environmental factors contributing to their development. Understanding these elements is crucial for effective management and treatment. While fibroids can present challenges, especially in post-menopausal women, advancements in medical approaches and personalized care at facilities like Rylon Clinic, led by Mr Osama Naji, provide effective solutions. The clinic’s dedication to individualized treatment ensures that each patient receives the most appropriate care for their specific needs, ensuring a better quality of life and health outcomes.