Do Fibroids Cause Pain?

Are Fibroids Painful?

Uterine fibroids do not usually cause persistent pain, although they can cause intermittent pain. Many women with fibroids for example experience heavy and/or painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Also, occasionally:

1. If you have a large fibroid it can press on the lower back, causing a constant dull back pain.
2. If you have a large fibroid in the uterus it can cause a constant feeling of fullness or bloating in the tummy.
3. If a fibroid presses on the bowels it can cause constipation. If it presses on the bladder it can lead to the need to urinate frequently. (If you suffer regular constipation, check out our fibroids diet tips to help get your system moving again).
4. If a fibroid presses on the nerves and veins that connect to the legs it can cut off blood supply. This can lead to varicose veins and pain in the leg and upper thigh.
5. If you feel discomfort during sexual intercourse, with sharp pain occurring in certain positions, it is likely that that pressure is being applied to a fibroid. Painful intercourse is one of the main symptoms of fibroids.
6. Severe pelvic pain only occurs if the fibroids degenerate - that is, if they twist and cut off their own blood supply.

Related Questions
Definition and guide: What are uterine fibroids?
Heavy prolonged periods: Can fibroids cause heavy menstrual bleeding?
Bloated and swollen tummies: Can fibroids cause weight gain?
After embolization or myomectomy surgery: Can fibroids grow back?

Personal Stories

I was rushed to the ER department a few weeks ago with severe pelvic on. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain was 10, I've never experienced anything like it. First they checked for kidney stones and ruled that out. Eventually they discovered that I had fibroids which had twisted. They put me on morphine. Trouble is, I'm also pregnant, so they can't operate on me until after delivery. So now I have to live with the pain for the next few months and live with the guilt of taking pain killer meds while pregnant. The doctors tell me they won't harm the baby, I hope so.
Heather, Sussex.
Useful article: Fibroids in pregnancy.

I have fibroids, and the time they bother me the most is during sex, the missionary position is just not possible! I feel constantly bloated and have the urge to eliminate often, but I'm constipated and can't go. Recently I felt a hard spot on the womb, the way it felt when I was pregnant, but I'm not pregnant. The doctors did an ultrasound scan and found a fibroid had grown quite large. I've decided to have a myomectomy surgery to remove it.
Alison, Boston
Useful article: How fibroids are treated.

I have 3 large fibroids but my symptoms are quite mild compared to other women. I suffer from lower back pain, occasional mild cramps and heavy clotting periods. My menstrual cycle is regular but the bleeds are heavy, and my iron is low. I've been prescribed ibuprofen pain killers (800mg) for the most painful days and I take an iron supplement. When cramps are bad I take a hot bath and drink herbal teas, seems to help.
Jennifer P, Jersey.

All the women in my family, my mom, sisters and grandmother have had a fibroids diagnosis at some time. So they must be genetic. I often get sharp stabbing pains in my stomach on the lower right side. Last week the pain was so intense during sex I had to stop. The following day I could barely stand or walk around. Then the pain disappeared again. I also need to pee lots and I have a constant sensation of pressure or fullness in my stomach. I hadn't connected it with fibroids, but I went for an ultrasound scan yesterday and found that I have several.
Maureen T, Boston.

Terminology: Fibroids are also called fibromyomas, leiomyomas or uterine myomas.

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