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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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  • hyaline degeneration - the most common change observed in fibroids; the fibrous and muscle tissues are replaced by hyaline tissue
  • cystic degeneration - usually after the menopause; due to liquefaction of areas of hyaline tissue
  • red or carneous degeneration - an acute degenerative process caused by haemorrhage into the tumour; affects half of all fibroids during pregnancy
  • fatty degeneration - usually at, or after, the menopause
  • calcification - particularly after the menopause; usually preceded by fatty change. In advanced cases, the whole tumour becomes a calcareous mass - so called "womb stone"
  • atrophy - occurs after the menopause; but large tumours may show only a small reduction in size
  • torsion - produces severe pain
  • secondary infection of a necrotic fibroid
  • sarcomatous change - occurs rarely - studies have revealed an incidence of uterine sarcoma of about 0.2% in patients operated on for presumed fibroids (1,2)


  1. Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Mar;83(3):414-8.
  2. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1999;48(3):193-6.

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