Fibroid tumors vary in shape and size and can grow anywhere on the uterus. While a woman with these tumors may only have one tumor, it is more common to have at least one fibroid tumor in the uterus. Uterine fibroids grow very slowly and so the size of uterine fibroids will vary from small tumors to very large tumors in a single uterus.
About 80% of women will have fibroid tumors during their lifetime and they mainly affect women of childbearing age. Uterine fibroids only become a problem and require treatment when they cause problems such as growing very large causing them to press upon surrounding organs or if they produce various painful and uncomfortable uterine fibroids symptoms like pain or excessive bleeding. They can also lead to pregnancy complications.
It is important to note that more than half the women who have fibroids are unaware of them and thus they require no treatment. They are usually only discovered during a normal pelvic exam and the doctor will then only monitor them periodically to see whether there is a change in size or its properties. This is called watchful waiting.
Fibroids result from a single cell that develops for unknown reasons.
See Uterine Fibroids Risk Factors To Be Aware Of for more discussion
The cell then may expand as the tumor grows by creating clones of itself. The uterus is probably the perfect place for the tumors to grow because the uterus is built to expand due to pregnancy despite only being about the size of a lemon normally.
To describe the size of uterine fibroids, many doctors can compare the size to weeks of pregnancy. When this is done, the doctor is not only describing the size of the fibroid tumors but the size of the uterus AND the fibroid.
Other doctors may describe the size of uterine fibroids by comparing it to a fruit such as a pear, orange, etc.
Other doctors may also use measurements in terms of centimeters or inches although most tumors are not spherical so the length, width and depth has to be measured.
Sizes of uterine fibroids vary from the size of a normal uterus which can be compared to a small pear or tennis ball to about the size of a 28 week pregnancy or the size of a pumpkin or a football.
It is important to remember that the size of uterine fibroids does not determine whether you will experience symptoms of uterine fibroids or not. One can experience no symptoms at all while having a large fibroid tumor while another can have a very small tumor and yet report many symptoms.
Another important fact about the size of uterine fibroids is that although they are hard, they will not substantially increase your overall weight. So if you want to blame your weight gain on having a large tumor, you are out of luck :-). Even tumors that grow to the size of a 20 week pregnancy only weight about four or five pounds.
Other sizes of uterine fibroids include an orange (10 week pregnancy), grapefruit (12 week pregnancy), melon (16 week pregnancy), pineapple (22 week pregnancy), etc.