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FIBROIDS Symptoms
FIBROIDS Symptoms

Fibroid Symptoms

Fibroids are benign smooth tumors that develop in the uterus. The most common symptoms of fibroids include heavy bleeding and severe pain during a period, frequency of urination, and infertility.¹ Symptoms are typically less severe with smaller fibroids, and sometimes, none are present at all. In some cases, small fibroids can cause very heavy bleeding if they are located in or near the uterine cavity. In general, the severity of symptoms is affected by the location and number of fibroids that are present.

It is possible for fibroid symptoms to decrease after a patient goes through menopause. At menopause estrogen production stops from the ovaries, and as a result, fibroids will decrease in size but often not more than 20%.2 However, a uterus with larger fibroids or greater numbers of fibroids may continue to cause some level of symptoms until they are removed.

Physical Symptoms of Fibroids

Physical symptoms often include pain and abnormal bleeding, especially during menstruation.3 Additional physical symptoms of fibroids may include:
  • Painful periods and cramps, sometimes lasting more than a week
  • Spotting or bleeding in between periods
  • Anemia and blood clots during periods
  • Infertility: Depending on their location, some types of fibroids may block the fallopian tubes or prevent implantation of an embryo into the uterine lining
  • Frequent urination and urinary retention: This may include difficulty in emptying the bladder.
  • Pain in the pelvis, legs and lower back
  • Pelvic pressure, bloating, distension and stomach swelling: This may be caused by an enlarged uterus
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Clots in the legs and pelvis
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Acute pain due to degenerating fibroids

Emotional Symptoms of Fibroids

Physical symptoms may sometimes be accompanied by emotional distress in fibroid patients. Severe bleeding or pain can lead to extreme discomfort and a negative effect on quality of life.4 Some emotional symptoms of dealing with fibroids may include:
  • Negative body image or poor self-esteem
  • Fear, stress and anxiety
  • Sadness and depression
Recommended strategies for managing the emotional effect of fibroids include:
  • Regular exercise
  • A healthy, balanced diet
  • Relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga
  • Healthy sleep practices
  • Discussing feelings with others or with a therapist
It’s important to remember these emotional management strategies will not treat the physical effects of fibroids. To relieve fibroid symptoms, they should be removed during laparoscopic surgery.

When to See a Doctor

Consult a doctor or specialist if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, especially heavy bleeding and prolonged periods, anemia, pain with periods, frequency of urination, bloating or distension. Fibroid symptoms can resemble the symptoms of other gynecological conditions, so it’s advised to speak with a specialist who can understand your symptoms and consider all possible causes.

At CIGC, our experienced specialists offer advanced treatments for fibroids and other gynecological conditions. We can put you on the path to recovery. To get started, schedule a consultation to discuss your symptoms and treatment options.

References

  1. Donnez J, Dolmans MM. Uterine fibroid management: from the present to the future. Hum Reprod Update. 2016;22(6):665-686. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmw023
  2. Lethaby A, Vollenhoven B. Fibroids (uterine myomatosis, leiomyomas). BMJ Clin Evid. 2015;2015:0814. Published 2015 Jun 2.
  3. Zimmermann A, Bernuit D, Gerlinger C, Schaefers M, Geppert K. Prevalence, symptoms and management of uterine fibroids: an international internet-based survey of 21,746 women. BMC Womens Health. 2012;12:6. Published 2012 Mar 26. doi:10.1186/1472-6874-12-6
  4. Fortin C, Flyckt R, Falcone T. Alternatives to hysterectomy: The burden of fibroids and the quality of life. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2018;46:31-42. doi:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2017.10.001