Fibroids are firm, compact tumors that develop in the uterus. Some women show no symptoms, or have only mild symptoms, whereas other women have symptoms that are more severe. Each individual may experience symptoms differently, but below are the most common symptoms.
Excessive Menstrual Bleeding
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.
Urinary Incontinence and Frequency
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.
Pelvic Pain and Pressure
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.
Other Symptoms Include:
- Pain in the back of the legs
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- An enlarged abdomen
Schedule an Appointment
If you are experiencing symptoms that are commonly associated with fibroids, contact Dr. Heath Miller today to schedule an appointment by calling (206) 598-5500 ext. 8.