Uterine-Preserving Interventions for the Management of Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids: A Systematic Review of Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness

Uterine fibroids (or leiomyoma) are the most common pelvic tumours and the most common benign tumours in women. Why fibroids develop and grow isn’t fully understood, but hormones are known to play a role.3 Age is a risk factor for their development; the prevalence of fibroids increases with age until menopause. As a result, fibroids are usually diagnosed late in a woman’s reproductive period and are present in up to 40% of women after the age of 40. Ethnicity is another risk factor for uterine fibroids. African-American women have a higher incidence of fibroids – 60% by age 35 and more than 80% by age 50, compared to Caucasian women whose incidence of fibroids was 40% by age 35 and almost 70% by age 50.1

Approximately 25% of fibroids are symptomatic. Symptoms may include abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pressure and pain, infertility, and recurrent pregnancy loss. As a result, uterine fibroids may lead to a significant reduction in a woman’s quality of life.2-4