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Are My Fibroids Genetic?

Posted on May 13, 2024

Uterine fibroids are a common form of non-cancerous, muscular tumors. While up to 70% of all women eventually develop fibroids, black women develop them more frequently than white women, and often with worse symptoms. To date, we haven't discovered the exact answer to what causes fibroids. But if you're wondering, are my fibroids genetic? Here are some clues to explore.

a strand of DNA

Are My Fibroids Genetic?

The more we learn about fibroids, the clearer it becomes that there is a genetic link to your fibroid risk. Specifically, certain genetic variations make it more likely that you'll develop these tumors.

Recently, evidence presented in The American Journal of Human Genetics uncovered one such variation: women with FASN gene mutations that caused increased production of FAS (fatty acid synthase) protein were more likely to form fibroids. This conclusion was drawn after fibroid tissue samples contained FAS protein levels that were three times higher than those in healthy uterine tissue. However, FAS levels are increased in several types of tumors, so there's still not a conclusive link between this fibroids genetic mutation and your direct risk for these tumors.

But...Do Fibroids Run in Families?

Even if we can't pinpoint the exact fibroids genetic mutations that increase your risk, we can say that these tumors appear to run in families. So, what does that mean for you? It's quite simple: if your mom, grandma or sister has or had fibroids, it's more likely that you will develop them as well.

Understanding Your Health Risks

In addition to genetics and family health history, factors such as elevated progesterone and estrogen levels also increase your fibroid risk. Furthermore, obesity seems to increase fibroid risk, likely because fat cells contain more estrogen than other cells, leading to increased levels in your body. Also, environmental toxins such as air pollution and the hormone-disrupting chemicals in Black hair products also increase the risk for these uterine tumors. So, while you can't change your fibroids genetic risk, you can reduce your chances of developing these tumors while improving general health by focusing on having a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and reducing the chemical content in products you use regularly.

Understanding Your Personal Fibroid Risk?

While some fibroids risk is clearly genetic, you're now aware of other factors that impact your odds of developing uterine tumors. As such, you can try to reduce risk in the areas you can't control. And, if you know you've inherited fibroid risk factors, listening to your body can help you find relief earlier on in the development process.

But why is that important? When your fibroids are smaller and fewer in number, minimally invasive treatment options such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization are much more effective. So click here to request a consultation with our fibroid experts in Georgia, and learn more about your candidacy for UFE treatment.

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