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Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

Fibroids can cause many symptoms including heavy menstrual bleeding, longer periods, urinary issues, pelvic pain, intestinal issues, back pain, abnormal discharge, fatigue and others. In this post, we will discuss the common symptoms of fibroids and why they occur. The symptoms that women endure will typically depend on the size and location within the uterus of the fibroids.

Menstrual bleeding is the most common reason women seek treatment

Fibroids can cause much heavier than normal menstrual bleeding, especially if the fibroids are involved with the lining of the uterus, known as submucosal. When menstrual bleeding is severe, women can become iron-deficient, fatigued, and possibly require a blood or iron transfusion. Fibroids that involve the lining of the uterus can also cause spotting or bleeding and discharge outside of a typical period.

Pelvic, back, hip and leg pain can be symptoms of uterine fibroids

Fibroids can cause pelvic pain, back pain and sometimes hip or leg pain. Many women have severe cramping pain during their periods. This is due to contractions to get rid of the old lining of the uterus. In some instances, the fibroids in the lining of the uterus can make this pain worse. They disrupt the normal uterus contractions or make the lining thicker, both of which cause the uterus to have to contract more to expel the old lining during a period. As fibroids grow large, they can weigh on the pelvis and cause a dull heavy pain. Similarly, they can press on the back or hip muscles and cause pain elsewhere, seemingly far away from the uterus.

Urinary symptoms include a frequent, urgent need to urinate

When fibroids become large and are located in the front of the uterus, they often grow into the top of the bladder. This can make it difficult for the bladder to stretch out when holding urine, causing women to make frequent trips to the bathroom during the day, often urgently.

Uterine fibroids can cause fertility problems

One of the symptoms of uterine fibroids is problems getting or staying pregnant. Fibroids can cause irregularities in the uterine lining, which will affect the ability of a fertilized egg to take hold in the uterus. The fibroids can also grow near the fallopian tubes and block the delivery of eggs to the uterus, or they can grow near the cervix and block sperm from entering the uterus. When a woman’s uterus has numerous fibroids, it can also be difficult for a fetus to grow to term given the size constraints of the abnormal uterine cavity.

Pain during sex and other symptoms of uterine fibroids

Fibroids can cause pain during intercourse, particularly when pain is felt deeper in the vagina. This may be from fibroids that grow near the cervix or fibroids in the upper section of the uterus that may push on the bladder.

As fibroids grow very large, the uterus can approximate a six-month pregnancy or more! The sheer size of the fibroids can cause fatigue. At this size, fibroids can make it look like a woman has a mass growing in her abdomen.

Our Austin interventional radiologist can help women deal with uterine fibroids

Women who have symptoms of uterine fibroids need to make an appointment with a physician to see if fibroids are causing their problems. After a diagnosis, patients can contact our Austin interventional radiologist for an appointment to discuss UFE, uterine fibroid embolization.


Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids – Summit Interventional Radiologist
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