What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

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Fibroids can carry so few (or even no) symptoms as to be virtually undetectable. Unfortunately, they can also create varying levels of havoc within the human body. Fibroids can cause any combination of the following:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding – Between the pressure that fibroids exert on the uterine lining and issues with the uterus perhaps not contracting properly due to the presence of these pesky growths, many women experience unusually heavy menstrual bleeding. Additionally, in some patients, fibroids can stimulate the growth of blood vessels in the area and throw the prostaglandin hormones out of whack, contributing to the problem. This adds up to physical discomfort, embarrassing situations and with so much blood loss, potential iron deficiency that may need medical attention.
  • Frequent urination / constipation – Larger fibroids take up enough room to cause crowding within the abdomen, meaning both bladder and bowel may bear the brunt. With a fibroid pushing against the bladder, its capacity to hold a larger quantity of urine becomes limited. When pressuring the bowel, a fibroid can constrict the area through which fecal matter needs to travel to leave the body, leading to constipation.
  • Pain issues – Fibroids take up space within the body and that space comes from the budget of the organs around them. This can translate into pelvic pain and lower back pain, similar to that some women experience during pregnancy. Likewise, they can give a feeling of bloating and discomfort in the belly due to their size. Fibroids can also cause pain during intercourse as a result of the additional pressure introduced to the area.
  • Fertility complications – While fibroids don’t always cause fertility issues, their presence can throw a wrench into pregnancy plans. Submucosal fibroids can crowd the uterus and multiple or large fibroids of any location can throw the body enough to cause complications. Certainly, most women with fibroids don’t experience infertility but it is an issue of which a woman’s ob/gyn should be aware. Even with circumstances seemingly being stacked against you, a pregnancy can usually be safely carried to term.