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What Does it Mean if My Mother Had Fibroids?

Posted on May 28, 2024

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that can cause symptoms such as heavy periods, painful sex and more. Unfortunately, science hasn't pinpointed the reason why some women develop fibroids more often than others. (Black women, for example, develop these tumors three times more often than white women.) Luckily, research now tells us one fact about your risk factors: if your mother had fibroids, you're more likely to develop these tumors as well. Check out the most recent findings below.

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What's My Risk if My Mother Had Fibroids?

According to research published JAMA Network Open, there's a link between family history and fibroid risk, particularly for Black women. To reach these findings, researchers followed 1610 Black and African American women between the ages of 23 and 25. None had received a fibroids diagnosis, but 37% of the participants' mothers had fibroids.) Once the study began, the included participants were monitored with four ultrasounds over the course of five-years. The purpose? To detect any fibroids that were at least 0.5 cm in size. And, if they were detected, the tumor growth would be monitored in subsequent ultrasounds.

Now, once the study concluded, researchers discovered that women with mothers who had fibroids were more likely to develop tumors as well. (The risk was even higher if mother's were diagnosed at an early age.) Plus, if your mother had fibroids and you developed tumors, they were more likely to grow large than if you had no family history. And these findings led study author Dr. Quaker Harmon to conclude, “We confirmed that earlier maternal diagnosis had the strongest association with fibroid incidence.”

 If My Mom Had Fibroids, What Should I Do?

Since family history is a fibroids risk factor, you may wish to take certain precautions if your mom had these tumors. First, Dr. Harmon suggests talking to your female relatives about the family's fibroid history. Plus, if you have any fibroid symptoms, you should immediately mention them to your healthcare provider, while explaining that your mom had fibroids.

Of course, while your family history increases fibroid risk, your mom's diagnosis doesn’t always mean that you’ll develop these tumors. But, if you have a family fibroid history and notice changes to your menstrual cycle; experience pelvic pain, bloating or uterine enlargement, connect with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Then, if you receive a fibroids diagnosis, click here to request a consultation with our fibroid specialists in Dallas. 

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