Symptoms

Trouble conceiving?

Infertility caused by fibroids is thought to represent only 2-3% of all infertility cases. In these cases, fibroids can potentially block the cervix or opening to the fallopian tubes causing infertility.

Constipation?

Another possible effect of uterine fibroid tumor growth can be increased pressure on the bowel. When the fibroid growth is located towards the back, pressure applied to the rectum can cause constipation.

Weak bladder control or frequent urination from bladder pressure?

Uterine fibroids can cause compression of the bladder leading to its decreased capacity. This can be disruptive to sleep and daytime activities. Occasionally compression of the bladder can result in stress incontinence.

Lack of energy or fatigue from anemia/low blood count?

Menorrhagia (prolonged and/or profuse menstrual bleeding) that occurs in women with symptomatic fibroids can sometimes cause anemia (that is, a low red blood cell count). This leads to low energy and tiredness because if heavy menstrual bleeding persists over time, the body may not be able to make new blood cells fast enough to replace those that have been lost. In such instances, women with fibroids may need to take iron pills to compensate for the loss of blood.

Lower back pain or pain in the back of the legs?

As fibroids grow in size, they can apply extra pressure on the neighboring organs and nerves and cause unwarranted pain in the pelvic area. The pain may also radiate to the lower back and some women also feel the pain extending into their legs.

Pain during sex or loss of libido?

Painful sexual intercourse can have a variety of causes including fibroids that distort the vagina or produce pressure in the uterus. Also, when fibroids grow in the area of the cervix at the end of the vaginal tract, they can make sex highly uncomfortable for women. This discomfort can lead to a loss of libido, which is a frequent complication for women with fibroids or adenomyosis. Loss of libido can also be caused by the emotional fallout from these conditions.

Pelvic pressure and pain or distended and bloated abdomen?

The uterus is typically as large as a small pear, weighing not more than a quarter of one pound. However, when there are fibroids growing inside, the uterus can become enlarged and create a sensation of fullness in the abdomen. As the fibroids enlarge the uterus, it can extend above the pelvic bone and cause anything from a small paunch to a very distended abdomen with an appearance of pregnancy. In fact, gynecologists often determine the size of the enlarged uterus by referencing it to a comparably sized pregnant uterus.   

Irregular monthly bleeding or spotting, bleeding between periods, unpredictable menstrual cycles?

Fibroids could cause irregular bleeding if they grow into the uterine lining.

Moderate to severe menstrual cramps?

Uterine fibroids can cause heavy menstrual flow, which includes passage of blood clots. Clots that travel from the uterus through the cervix to the vagina can lead to cramping and pain. The presence of fibroids on the inside, outside, or the wall of the uterus can mean increased pressure, which means you will experience more severe menstrual cramping.

Pain is also a sign of adenomyosis.

Heavy, prolonged or painful menstrual periods with or without clotting?

Typically, during your menstrual period, your uterine muscle will contract and tighten, causing blood to clot enough to stop menstrual bleeding. However, when fibroids are present in the uterine lining, they can prevent the uterus from fully contracting, causing a continuation in bleeding. The fibroids can also stimulate the blood vessels of the uterus, causing there to be more blood inside the uterus, leading to heavy periods.

Do you know?

Eat your vegetables:

Fibroids are believed to be a hormone-related disease. A healthy diet rich in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can help balance your estrogen levels and support detoxification of your liver.

Age Range:

Uterine fibroids usually appear in women of childbearing age — generally between 30 and 40 years old, but they can show up at any age.

Ethnic Origin:

Black women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.