Common Signs of Uterine Fibroids
Unfortunately, many women assume their painful fibroid symptoms to be a natural part of their regular menstrual cycle. The truth is that this cycle should never involve severe pain, heavy bleeding, or cause you to avoid regular activities or responsibilities. If you experience these types of severe symptoms as discussed below, please contact Denver Fibroids for a comprehensive evaluation performed by one of our fellowship trained interventional radiologists.
There are several different types of symptoms that women can experience if they have fibroid tumors.
Excessive menstrual bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors. It is the most prevalent symptom for two out of the four types of uterine fibroid tumors: intramural and submucosal. When experiencing the uterine fibroid symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding or abnormal uterine bleeding, there are other components that directly result from it.
Passing clots is very common with excessive menstrual bleeding as well as prolonged cycles of bleeding and longer monthly periods. It can also cause frequent soiling, something that can interfere with everyday activities and lifestyle. Abnormal uterine bleeding that is prolonged can have some serious side effects over time. Untreated, it can lead to fatigue and anemia, which is the result of low red blood cell count. These factors can eventually lead to the need for blood transfusions.
As the fibroids grow they can put additional pressure on the surrounding organs, which can be extremely painful. The growth of the fibroids can cause consistent lower abdominal pain, as well as swelling which is sometimes mistaken as weight gain or pregnancy. If you are experiencing pelvic pain and pressure or any other type of uterine fibroid symptoms, a full gynecological exam should be done immediately to determine the cause.
Pelvic pain and pressure can be caused not only by the size of a uterine fibroid tumor, but the location as well. Additional conditions can accompany the uterine fibroid tumor, such as adenomyosis and endometriosis.
Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) grows within the middle layer of the uterine wall. Typically the uterine lining prevents adhesions from occurring. However, when uterine fibroids develop and begin to grow, the possibility for adhesions also grows, something that can also cause a great deal of pain.
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue is found outside of the uterus, and can be another painful and uncomfortable symptom occurring with uterine fibroids. Again, in order to properly diagnose uterine fibroid tumors and effectively determine the cause of these symptoms, a full gynecological exam should be performed.
One of the organs commonly affected during the growth of the fibroid tumors is the bladder. As added pressure is applied to this organ, the risk of urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, as well as frequent urination increases. Not only can this cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, but it can also become a hindrance in your everyday activities.
Another possible effect of uterine fibroid tumor growth can be increased pressure to the bowel. This can cause uncomfortable constipation and/or bloating. If you feel you are experiencing these potential symptoms of fibroids on a regular basis, consult with a medical professional in order to rule out or diagnose any potential serious medical conditions.
- Pain in the back of the legs
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- An enlarged abdomen
In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. Depending on the size and location of the fibroid tumors, symptoms can become so severe that they affect the ability to maintain daily activities. However, many women live with fibroid tumors and still maintain a good quality of life with the ability to manage and perform their everyday tasks.
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors, and are finding it difficult to perform your daily activities and maintain your way of life, you should contact your primary care physician or OB-GYN immediately.
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