Uterine fibroids or leiomyoma are benign tumors of the uterus. They are very common and frequently asymptomatic.
You might have been diagnosed with fibroids and are wondering exactly what signs you might expect. Or you may be asking yourself if the issues you are having are brought on by fibroids.
The location, number and also the size of your fibroids are a significant element in the type and intensity of your symptoms.
Fibroids are essentially”balls” of smooth muscle. We don’t understand just what makes them grow but they could vary in size from a pea to a small watermelon. As they grow they increase the volume and shape of your uterus.
The symptoms caused by fibroids fall into three Chief categories:
Fibroids are a significant cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. Fibroids may cause both heavy periods and bleeding at other times separate in the period. The bleeding from uterine fibroids may be substantial enough to cause you to develop anemia. All uterine fibroids change the blood flow into the uterus to a degree, which normally results in some increase on your menstrual flow. However, transmural or submucosal fibroids that distort the endometrium or lining of the uterus cause the important amount of abnormal uterine bleeding. If you are having very heavy menstrual periods it’s likely that you have a submucosal fibroid.
Submucosal fibroids do not need to be quite large to cause substantial bleeding. In reality, a single little submucosal fibroid can cause sufficient bleeding for you to become anemic.
Fibroids may cause both cyclic and non-cyclic nasal congestion. Cyclic pain is pain that’s related to a menstrual cycle. Normal menstruation results in changes in your uterus which make you have at least some moderate alterations along with your period.
Because uterine fibroids are made from smooth muscle, distort the uterus and alter uterine blood flow they could significantly boost the cramping you have with your period. This problem is called dysmenorrhea.
Pain in your lower spine can also be common with uterine fibroids. Typically this is related to all kinds of fibroids except submucosal fibroids. The enlarged uterus can push on the muscles and nerves of your lower spine. This type of lower back pain can be constant or cyclic pain that’s linked to your period. Sometimes this pain also radiates or goes into your hips, groin or upper thighs.
Fibroids can also result in pain with intercourse a condition called dyspareunia. Based on the positioning of your fibroids this annoyance may only occur in certain positions.
As fibroids increase they can significantly increase the volume and weight of your uterus. This increased weight can be felt as a feeling of pressure or heaviness in your pelvis. An enlarging uterus may also put pressure on other pelvic structures especially your bladder and your rectum.
A common bladder complaint in women with fibroids is the necessity to urinate more frequently. Some women may actually have difficulty emptying their bladder.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms it’s likely that you have a subserosal, transmural or a pedunculated fibroid arising from the front wall of your uterus. Since your bladder sits facing your uterus a fibroid in this place occupies space in your pelvis and it can interfere with the ability of your bladder to empty or expand suitably.
Like the pressure effects on the bladder, these types of fibroids arising from the rear wall of the uterus can place pressure on the rectum. Pressure on the rectum can cause you to have difficulty with your bowel motions as well as constipation.
If you feel that may have fibroids or you have some questions regarding your investigation please discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.