If you’ve recently been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, understanding the specifics of your condition is crucial. Subserosal fibroids, one of the common types of uterine fibroids, have their unique characteristics, causes, symptoms, and treatment options. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain subserosal fibroids, their potential causes, and how to recognize their symptoms while exploring various treatment avenues available.

Understanding Subserosal Fibroids

Subserosal fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop outside the uterus, specifically in the outer layer called the serosa. Unlike intramural fibroids that grow within the uterine wall or submucosal fibroids that develop inside the uterine cavity, subserosal fibroids protrude outward, often appearing as lumps on the uterine surface.

More than 50% of the fibroid must extend outside the muscular layer of tissue that makes up most of the uterus (called the myometrium) for a fibroid to be classified as subserosal.  While they might not always cause symptoms, their size and location can lead to discomfort and complications in some cases.

What Conditions Are Similar to Subserosal Fibroids?

Other types of uterine fibroids, such as intramural and submucosal fibroids, can cause conditions similar to or mistaken for subserosal fibroids. Intramural fibroids develop within the uterine wall, while submucosal fibroids grow inside the uterine cavity. Both types can cause symptoms like pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and reproductive issues, often leading to confusion with subserosal fibroids.

Other conditions that may mimic subserosal fibroids include ovarian cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries, and adenomyosis, a condition characterized by the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue within the muscular wall of the uterus. 

Endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, can also present with symptoms overlapping those of subserosal fibroids, such as pelvic pain and infertility. Accurate diagnosis by a healthcare professional through imaging tests and medical history review is essential to differentiate between these conditions and determine appropriate treatment strategies.

What are Subserosal Fibroids? Causes, Symptoms | United Fibroid

Causes of Subserosal Fibroids

The exact cause of subserosal fibroids remains unclear, but several factors may contribute to their development. Hormonal imbalances, particularly elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone, are believed to play a significant role. Genetics, with a family history of fibroids, can also increase the likelihood of developing subserosal fibroids. Additionally, factors such as obesity, age (typically between 30 and 40), and certain lifestyle habits may influence their growth.

Recognizing Symptoms

Depending on their size and location, subserosal fibroids may or may not present noticeable symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they can vary in intensity and impact daily life. 

Common symptoms of subserosal fibroids include:

  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Backache
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Constipation or difficulty with bowel movements
  • Enlargement of the lower abdomen
  • Pain during intercourse

It’s essential to note that while these symptoms can be indicative of subserosal fibroids, they may also signal other underlying health issues. Thus, seeking a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional is crucial for accurate treatment.

Diagnostic Methods for Subserosal Fibroids

Diagnosing subserosal fibroids typically involves a combination of methods. Healthcare providers may review medical history and conduct pelvic examinations to assess symptoms and palpate the uterus for abnormalities. Imaging tests such as ultrasound, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or CT (Computed Tomography) scans provide detailed visualization of the uterus, identifying the presence, size, and location of fibroids. 

These diagnostic tools help healthcare professionals accurately diagnose subserosal fibroids and develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs, ensuring effective symptom management and optimal outcomes.

Subserosal Fibroid Treatment Options

Treatment for subserosal fibroids varies depending on factors such as the severity of symptoms, the patient’s age, desire for future fertility, and overall health. 

Several treatment options are available, including:

Continuous Monitoring (No Treatment)

If subserosal fibroids are small and asymptomatic, your healthcare provider may recommend regular monitoring without immediate intervention.


Hormonal medications such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHas) or birth control pills may help alleviate symptoms by regulating hormonal levels and reducing fibroid size.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) offers non-surgical relief for subserosal fibroids. By blocking blood flow to fibroids, UFE reduces their size, alleviating symptoms like pelvic pain and heavy bleeding. It preserves the uterus, allowing for quicker recovery and minimal scarring, and often results in improved quality of life for patients.

Surgical Removal of Fibroids

In cases where fibroids are large, causing significant symptoms, or impacting fertility, surgical interventions such as myomectomy (removal of fibroids while preserving the uterus) or hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be necessary, but can further cause infertility or other women’s health issues.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

While lifestyle changes alone may not eliminate subserosal fibroids, adopting healthy habits can help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being. Suggestions include maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, regular exercise to manage weight and reduce estrogen levels, managing stress through relaxation techniques, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine consumption.

Choosing the Best Subserosal Fibroid Treatment for You

Living with subserosal fibroids can be challenging, but with proper understanding and proactive management, it’s possible to minimize their impact on your life. If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, including subserosal fibroids, remember that you’re not alone. Working closely with your healthcare provider to explore treatment options tailored to your needs and preferences is key to finding relief and maintaining optimal health.

Ready to find relief from subserosal fibroids? Schedule a consultation for Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) today. Our expert team will assess your condition and determine if UFE is the right path for you. 

Take the first step towards reclaiming your comfort and well-being. Contact us now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cause of Subserosal fibroids?

The exact cause of subserosal fibroids remains uncertain, but hormonal imbalances, particularly elevated estrogen and progesterone levels, along with genetic predisposition and factors like obesity, age, and lifestyle habits, are believed to contribute to their development.

Does a Subserosal fibroid need to be removed?

Whether a subserosal fibroid needs removal depends on factors like size, location, and symptoms. While small, asymptomatic fibroids may not require intervention, those causing discomfort, impacting fertility, or growing larger may necessitate removal through minimally invasive procedures or surgery, depending on individual circumstances. Consulting a healthcare provider is essential.

What age do Subserosal fibroids occur?

Subserosal fibroids typically occur during a woman’s reproductive years, commonly between the ages of 30 and 40. However, they can develop at any age after puberty. Genetic predisposition, hormonal fluctuations, and other factors contribute to their occurrence, with prevalence increasing with age.