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Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management of Uterine Leiomyomas


  • Kate E. Rice MS, WHNP, RN,

  • Jenny R. Secrist MS, WHNP, RN,

  • Elizabeth L. Woodrow MS, WHNP, RN,

  • Laura M. Hallock MS, WHNP, RN,

  • Jeremy L. Neal CNM, PhD, RN

Jeremy L. Neal, CNM, PhD, RN, The Ohio State University, 1585 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1289. E-mail:


Uterine leiomyomas are the most common benign gynecologic tumors. While the true etiology of leiomyomas remains unknown, their origin is thought to be multifactorial including genetic, hormonal, and tissue growth factor variations. Leiomyomas are predominantly found in women of reproductive age and are the leading indication for hysterectomy worldwide. Menstrual irregularities, pain, and fertility difficulties may arise from leiomyoma presence, although many women remain asymptomatic. Diagnosis can be made via ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging, when precise mapping of the tissue is needed. Many treatment options are available ranging from surgical to medical and should be chosen depending on symptom severity, number and size of leiomyomas, patient age, fertility desires, and patient preferences. The objective of this article is to present a practical clinical perspective on uterine leiomyomas and an overview of contemporary treatment options.