Symptoms Of Fibroids
For many women, fibroids cause no problems. More than half of women with fibroids do not know they have them until their doctor tells them so.
If fibroids press on the bladder, a woman may feel the urge to urinate frequently. She may pass only small amounts of urine and she may feel as though she has not completely emptied her bladder.
If fibroids press on the bowel, she may feel constipated or full after eating only a small amount of food.
If fibroids press on one or both ureters (the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder), they may partially block the flow of urine. A woman may not be aware of this because it often isn't painful. Over time, however, this kind of blockage can lead to kidney infections or other serious kidney damage.
Pain in the pelvis.
Heavy or long menstrual periods. Periods may last more than seven days and menstrual flow may be very heavy. Some women find they need to change sanitary napkins or tampons so often that they cannot function normally during their period. Heavy menstrual flow can sometimes lead to anemia.
Pressure on other organs. Large fibroids may press on organs in the pelvis.
The pressure of large fibroids on other organs may cause pain in the pelvis.
Sometimes, if fibroids do not get the blood flow they need to sustain themselves, they
degenerate or die. This may cause severe pain lasting for days or weeks. Pain may also
occur if the stalk of a fibroid twists, cutting off blood supply to the fibroid. Rarely, a fibroid may become infected and cause pain.
Need To Know: Problems like those caused by fibroids can also have other causes. It is important to rule out these other possible causes of any problems a woman is having. For example, an imbalance of hormones may cause heavy periods. A bladder infection can cause a frequent need to urinate.
Fibroids - Symptoms
It is estimated that 75% of women with fibroids do not have symptoms, therefore many women don't know they have fibroids. Whether or not you have symptoms depends on the size of the fibroids and where they are in your womb. This also affects the types of symptoms you are likely to have. For example, a small fibroid in the wall of your womb probably won't cause any problems, whereas a large fibroid growing outward from your womb might press against your bladder, causing bladder problems.
The most common symptom of fibroids is heavy menstrual bleeding. Other symptoms include abdominal pain or pressure, changes in bladder and bowel patterns and, in some cases, infertility.Frequent need to urinate.
Feaking or dribbling urine
Urgent need to urinate, often passing only a small amount .
Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
Heavy bleeding may involve flooding (a sudden gush of blood), long periods or passing large clots of blood. Heavy bleeding is not always due to fibroids, but when it is, it is usually associated with fibroids that grow into the womb (submucous). Although it is unclear exactly why fibroids cause bleeding, it may be that they stretch the lining of the womb, creating more lining to be shed during a period.
Heavy bleeding can be distressing and can make every day activities difficult. You will need to use extra sanitary protection and will probably need to change towels or tampons frequently. Some women with heavy bleeding feel they need to stay near a toilet during their periods. This can greatly restrict activity and may be frustrating or tiring.
Anaemia (iron deficiency)
Some women with fibroids and heavy bleeding develop anaemia as a result of blood loss. Anaemia can make you feel weak, dizzy and tired. If blood tests show that you have anaemia, ask your doctor about supplements or changes in your diet that might help. Foods such as liver, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit and even red wine can help boost your iron levels.
Pain and pressure
Some women with fibroids experience painful periods, dull aches in their thighs, back pain or constant pressure in the abdominal area that feels like bloating or fullness.
Pain during your period may be due to large clots of blood pushing through your cervix. Cramps could also be caused by the womb trying to force out a submucous fibroid that is growing on a stalk in the cavity of the womb.
Large fibroids can make the womb big and bulky, which can lead to lower back pain or pelvic discomfort. Some women with fibroids feel a dull ache in their thighs or develop varicose veins in their legs. This happens when fibroids become so large they press on nerves and blood vessels that extend to the legs.
Occasionally, fibroids can cause sudden severe pain in the pelvic area or lower back. This may be due to a fibroid on a stalk (pedunculated) that has become twisted. This kinks the blood vessels in the stalk and cuts off the blood supply to the fibroid. If you feel sudden severe pain and also have a fever or feel sick, you should see your doctor. The fibroid may need to be removed or your doctor may recommend bed rest and painkillers until the pain stops on its own.
Pain during sex
Fibroids that press on the cervix or hang through the cervix into the vagina can make penetrative sex painful and can also cause bleeding during sex.
Bladder and bowel symptoms
Large subserous fibroids (on the outer part of the womb) can press on your bladder or bowel, leading to one or more of the following symptoms:
Difficulty or inability to pass urine – this is very serious and you should tell your doctor as you may need urgent care. A tube, called a catheter, will be put into your bladder to empty it.
Cystitis caused by trapped urine that becomes infected.
Symptoms of Fibroid Tumors
Fibroid tumor symptoms are specific symptoms that results in identifying it, the Symptoms of fibroid tumors are listed below:
Pain during intercourse
Heavy bleeding during periods
Constipation and pain in passing urine
Pain in back
Pelvic pressure or feeling of fullness
Early onset of labor in pregnancy
Swelling in abdomen
What are the symptoms?
Many women never even know they have uterine fibroids. If symptoms do exist, they may include:
Prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding (which may lead to iron deficiency or anaemia)
More frequent or uncomfortable urination caused by pressure on the bladder
Feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen
How can I ease my symptoms?
If pain or bleeding during menstruation caused by fibroids is an ongoing or worsening problem, see your GP. In the meanwhile, to ease discomfort:
Take over-the-counter pain relief for cramps and body aches.
Rest in bed when symptoms are worst.
Eat foods high in iron (such as lean red meat and spinach) and take iron supplements (if
your GP recommends it) to avoid anaemia caused by heavy menstrual bleeding
Hold a hot water bottle against your tummy or have a warm bath to help relieve pain.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Most women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms or just mild symptoms and do not need treatment. In one study, almost 80% of women who chose "watchful waiting" for their fibroids had no major changes in their bleeding, pain, bothersome symptoms, mental health, general health or activity after one year. After menopause, bleeding stops, fibroids decrease in size and the rate of surgery for fibroids decreases dramatically. So, for some women with fibroids "watchful waiting" will allow treatment to be avoided, perhaps indefinitely.
Treatment will be necessary for women with heavy bleeding that causes severe anemia or, very rarely, for blockage of the ureters (tubes that pass urine from the kidneys to the bladder) by very large fibroids. Some women may also chose treatment for heavy bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure, urinary frequency or incontinence that interferes with their quality of life. But, this decision is for each woman to make based on her own sense of her quality of life. Of interest, one study found that women who chose to have a hysterectomy because of fibroid-related symptoms had worse scores on quality-of-life questionnaires than women diagnosed with hig blood pressure, heart disease, emphysema or arthritis.
However, if women are offered a hysterectomy as a first and sometimes only treatment option, they may choose to adapt to their symptoms and stop seeking treatment. If this has happened to you, get a second opinion from a gynecologist who regularly takes care of women with fibroids. Otherwise your symptoms (such as bleeding or pain) may slowly get worse ("symptom creep") and can lead to chronic discomfort or anemia.
At present, medications, a progesterone-releasing IUD, endometrial ablation, hysteroscopic myomectomy, laparoscopic myomectomy, abdominal myomectomy, uterine artery embolization and focused ultrasound are all available in addition to hysterectomy for treatment.
Can Fibroids Cause Bleeding Problems?
Women with fibroids may have an increased amount of menstrual bleeding, although many women with fibroids do not have this problem. There are a number of theories as to why heavy bleeding might happen. At the time of the menstrual period, when the uterine lining is shed, the inside of the uterus is raw and bleeding. The uterus has two basic ways to stop itself from bleeding. The first is the normal blood-clotting mechanism that works throughout the body by forming plugs in the blood vessels. However, because the uterus is a muscle, it also has the unique ability to contract and squeeze the bleeding vessels of the uterus, much like stepping on a hose. These contractions are what you may feel as menstrual cramps. One theory suggests that the fibroids don't allow the uterus to squeeze down properly, so the blood vessels in the uterus stay open longer, and you lose more blood. Also, fibroids produce proteins that make blood vessels grow nearby and other proteins that make the blood vessels expand, so that more blood is lost after menstrual bleeding starts.
Other medical conditions may also cause heavy bleeding or bleeding in between periods. Hormonal changes, polyps, overgrowth of the uterine lining, or, rarely, even precancer or cancer of the uterus can all result in abnormal bleeding. Von Willebrandt's Disease, a not uncommon subtle abnormality of the blood clotting mechanism can also cause heavy bleeding. Therefore, any abnormal bleeding should be reported to your physician, and you should get a thorough evaluation.
When heavy menstrual bleeding persists over time, your body may not be able to make new blood cells fast enough to replace those that have been lost. Some women with fibroids find that the bleeding is so severe that even iron pills (taken with 1,000 mg of vitamin C to help the iron get absorbed into the bloodstream) cannot correct the problem, and anemia develops. Anemia can result in weakness, fatigue, fuzzy thinking and, if severe, light-headedness. If you have any of these symptoms, treatment beyond iron pills should be considered. Please visit: http://www.gynsecondopinion.com/period.htm for more information.
Can Fibroids Cause Pain or Pressure?
A normal size uterus lies below the pubic bone, well down in the pelvis. It is just under the bladder, just above the rectum, and surrounded by the intestines. Since it is so near to these other organs, growth of the uterus from fibroids may cause pressure or, rarely, pain in the pelvis. The uterus is normally about the size of a small pear and weighs less than one-quarter of a pound. But with fibroids, the uterus will enlarge and can cause an awareness of fullness or pressure. If the fibroids grow toward your back, pressure on the rectum can cause constipation. You may also feel pressure or pain in the lower back or discomfort with activity or intercourse. If the fibroids grow towards the front of the uterus, they can press on the bladder and cause frequent urination. However, fibroids do not cause any permanent damage to any of the organs.
If the uterus gets to be as large as a cantaloupe, it may be seen as a noticeable swelling in the lower abdomen, perhaps even making a woman appear pregnant. While not dangerous, the enlarged uterus may cause enough discomfort or enough visible change for you to want to seek treatment.
Can Fibroids Cause Sudden Pain?
Fibroids are living tissue, and need blood and oxygen to survive. If a fibroid grows quickly, blood vessels feeding the fibroid may not be able to grow fast enough to supply the new tissue with enough blood and oxygen. If this happens, the fibroid undergoes a process called degeneration, or cell death. As the cells in the fibroid die, chemical substances are released that cause pain and swelling in the uterus. This pain may be severe but is not usually associated with any serious problems. If these chemical substances from a degenerating fibroid reach the bloodstream, they may cause a low fever. As some of the fibroid dies, the blood supply to the rest of the fibroid will be enough to keep it alive and healthy. At this point, the pain will go away. This process may take a few weeks. When pain develops in a woman with fibroids, examination by a physician is important to help figure out the source of the problem.
If you have a degenerating fibroid, a heating pad on your abdomen will be comforting, and pain medication should provide relief for a few days or weeks until the pain begins to subside. In rare instances, a fibroid on a stalk (pedunculated fibroid) can twist around on the stalk so that no blood can get through the stalk to the fibroid. If that happens, the entire fibroid begins to die, and the pain becomes very severe and surgery is usually necessary to remove the dying fibroid.
Can Fibroids Cause Urinary Problems?
The uterus lies directly beneath the bladder, and the uterus and bladder are partially attached at one point. If a fibroid begins to grow forward, it may squeeze the bladder so that it cannot fill properly with urine and you may feel the need to urinate more often. Also, when you laugh, cough, or sneeze, the fibroid may push against the bladder and cause you to lose urine. This is called stress incontinence. While this may only be a minor inconvenience for some women with fibroids, others may be so bothered by the incontinence that they limit their activity to avoid embarrassment. There are also other causes of incontinence, so you should get a careful examination. There are now a number of treatments available other than surgery for many of the causes of incontinence. Stress incontinence is not something you "just have to live with".