What is an ovarian fibroma?

An ovarian fibroma is a type of abnormal growth, also called a tumor, that develops in a woman's ovary. This growth is solid, which differs from typically fluid-filled ovarian cysts, and is made of smooth muscle tissues that are held together by fibrous tissues. In most cases, fibroids do not form in the ovaries; They usually form inside a woman's uterus and are rarely found in an ovary. However, when they do appear in an ovary, they are usually benign, meaning they do not contain cancer cells.

While there are several types of tumors, fibroids are the most common type for women to develop in the pelvic region. However, this does not mean that a woman is more likely to develop one in her ovary than any other type of tumor. In general, a woman is more likely to develop a different type of ovarian tumor or cyst than an ovarian fibroid. In general, women are more likely to develop fibroids when they are between the ages of 35 and 45. Interestingly, menopause often stops fibroids from growing, and sometimes they disappear altogether.

An ovarian fibroma can be very small. For example, one of these growths could be smaller than a sunflower seed. Unfortunately, they can also grow very large and exceed the size of a baseball. However, it is unlikely that a woman would develop one of that size in an ovary. In most cases, large fibroids affect the uterus.

If a woman develops an ovarian fibroma, doctors can first work to confirm that it really is a benign tumor before deciding on treatment. Ultrasounds and other imaging tests are often used to help doctors determine whether or not a tumor is benign. If doctors think a tumor may be cancerous, they usually do a biopsy, which involves removing a sample of tissue from the lump or the entire lump, and then examining the lump for cancer cells.

In many cases, it is not necessary to treat fibroids. However, doctors may recommend treatment, usually surgical removal, if a patient is in pain or experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. Women often experience no symptoms at all. When symptoms are present with an ovarian fibroid, they often include abdominal pain, cramping, and swelling. Excessive bleeding can be another symptom of fibroids, but it is more likely to occur when the uterus is affected.

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