Fibroids are tumors that attach to the uterus that are usually non-cancerous. The pace of growth varies by woman and cannot be correlated from one woman to the next. The best indication of expected growth speed will come from an assessment by a woman’s doctor.
Fibroids increase in size when estrogen surges in a woman’s body. Partner hormone progesterone is also thought to play a role in tumor growth. Therefore, the growth rate varies from woman to woman depending on the amount of hormones present.
Some factors that alter the hormone levels that contribute to fibroid growth are pregnancy, menopause, consumption of certain foods and use of hormonal medications.
Growth During Pregnancy
According to an OBFocus article, fibroid growth during pregnancy is most likely to occur during the first trimester in cases where the tumor started at a size larger than 5 centimeters in diameter. Smaller fibroids were found to be unlikely to grow at all. The growth speed of larger fibroids will depend on the blood supply available.
Frequency of Occurrence
Brigham and Women’s Hospital reports that about 70 percent of women of childbearing age have fibroids and that 25 percent of those women are symptomatic. This supports the idea that even if women have fibroids, in many they will not grow to a size large enough to create pain or reproductive dysfunction and that speed of growth is inconsistent in any group studied.
Effect of Race
A study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences published in 2008 indicated that black women and white women older than 35 may have different rates of growth decline. In the study, white women older than 35 experienced slower growth than their black peers.