Uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths in the uterus, are a common concern for many women. These growths, varying in size and number, typically form during childbearing years and can lead to pain, heavy periods, and fertility issues.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with fibroids, you may question whether there's a familial connection. Dr. Ulas Bozdogan of Advanced Endometriosis Center breaks it all down here.
Do fibroids have a genetic link?
Yes, fibroids have a genetic component, but their hereditary pattern could be more complex. Two genes, TP53 and ESR1, are linked to fibroid development. If your mother or sister has fibroids, your chance of developing them is about three times higher.
However, having a family history of fibroids doesn't guarantee you'll get them. Conversely, lacking such a history doesn't make you immune. Many genetic and environmental factors contribute to their development.
Additional factors influencing uterine fibroids
Family history is just one part of the puzzle. Other risk factors include:
While any woman can develop fibroids, African-American women are more prone. Around 70% of Caucasian women develop fibroids by age 50, compared to about 80% of African-American women.
Lifestyle and environmental factors
Factors like obesity, diets high in red meat and low in fruits, vegetables, and vitamin D, and exposure to certain chemicals contribute to fibroid development.
The following steps can help mitigate lifestyle risks
- Regular exercise.
- A diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- They limited red meat consumption.
- Minimizing exposure to toxins.
Hormones Estrogen and progesterone fuel fibroid growth. Genetics can influence how your body processes and responds to these hormones, affecting your susceptibility to fibroids.
If you're concerned about fibroids or have a family history, discuss your concerns with Dr. Bozdogan. Regular checkups and open communication about your reproductive health aid in early detection and management. Even with healthy habits, fibroids may develop, and Dr. Bozdogan is here to identify them early and offer suitable treatment options.
To learn more, book an appointment online with Dr. Bozdogan today. Offices are located in New York City and Hackensack, New Jersey.