Uterine Fibroids and Fertility: Causes and Risk Factors


by Laura Mercer on February 20, 2010

Have you been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, or do you have any of the symptoms of these benign uterine growths that can affect fertility?

An estimated 3 out of 4 women will have uterine fibroids at some point. Unfortunately, these non-cancerous growths are most likely to occur during childbearing years, which is not a good thing since they can cause infertility.

What are the Causes of Uterine Fibroids?

There has been no single cause for uterine fibroids identified by researchers as yet. There appear to be a number of possible causes for this common problem in women, including:

  • Hormones: Both progesterone and estrogen can cause the growth of benign uterine fibroids. These hormones prepare the lining of the uterus for pregnancy, and seem to promote the growth of fibroids. Compared to normal uterine muscle cells, fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors.
  • Chemicals: Such as those that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin type growth factor, may contribute to fibroid growth.
  • Genetic Alterations: A lot of fibroids contain alterations in genes that code for uterine muscle cells.



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.