|What Are The Symptoms?
In many cases a woman will experience no symptoms of uterine fibroids, and may never learn that she even has them. Fortunately, as fibroids are benign, this is nothing to worry about. However, where symptoms do occur, the following are the 10 most typical signs:
1. A palpable lump or swelling in the abdomen. See, can fibroids cause weight gain?
2. Heavy periods (menorrhagia) with blood clots as well as irregular periods (oligomenorrhea) or prolonged menstrual cycles which can lead to anemia. See, can fibroids cause heavy menstrual bleeding?
3. A feeling of fullness due to pressure on the bowel. This can also lead to constipation and painful defecation.
4. The need to urinate frequently occurs due to pressure on the bladder. You may need to urinate several times during the night. Occasionally it may be difficult to urinate, despite a full bladder.
5. Fibroids usually do not cause pain, unless growths press on the lower back area causing lower back pain. Where fibroids press on the bowels this can result in constipation. Occasionally rectum pressure can cause hemorrhoids.
6. Severe pelvic pain only occurs where fibroids degenerate - that is where tumors twist and cut off their own blood supply. See also, do fibroids cause pain?
7. Discomfort during sexual intercourse. Pain may only occur in certain positions and may be worse during a period. This is a significant symptom, so do be sure to mention it to your OB/GYN or doctor.
8. Infertility issues. Fibroids account for 3 percent of all infertility cases. Typically this is where submucosal fibroids exist and the position of fibroids interferes with the embryos ability to implant in the uterus. Occasionally larger fibroids can block the entrance of the fallopian tubes.
9. Pregnancy complications, miscarriage and premature births.
10. Fibroids can result in problems in pregnancy, labor, delivery and childbirth (interference with the position of the fetus). See Fibroids during pregnancy.
What Size Are They?
Fibroid tumors are non-cancerous. They range in size from a small bean to a large grapefruit or larger (image). Some fibroids are such large masses that they fill the entire abdominal cavity and make a woman appear 6 months pregnant. Big tumors can weigh between 20 and 50 pounds, in fact the largest on record weighed 140 pounds. Fibroids typically grow larger over time and may result in weight gain (Fibroids and weight gain).
Do Different Types Of Fibroids Cause Different Symptoms?
Yes, fibroids can cause different symptoms depending on where the tumors grow, and depending on their numbers and size. Where possible, diagnosis is useful as it will determine the type of fibroids treatment, if any.
Intramural Uterine Fibroids
These are the most common type of fibroids and lie deep within the uterus wall. They cause the uterus to enlarge, which prompts heavy bleeding in periods, sometimes with clots. This may be combined with menstrual cramps if the fibroid degenerates (that is twists and cuts off its own blood supply). Back pain and pelvic pain is also common with this type of fibroid. This variety can respond to a fibroids diet plan.
These tumors grow outside the wall of the uterus and into the pelvis. Subserosal fibroids can become very large causing pain and pressure on other organs. Occasionally it causes heavy bleeding into the abdomen, although it does not usually cause heavy periods.
This is the least common of the three types of fibroids. It lies underneath the endometrial (uterine lining) which is pushed into the uterus as the fibroids grow. It can cause excessive bleeding and irregular periods, even when fibroids are small. It may become pedunculated, developing narrow stalks. If these stalks become twisted, severe pain can result. This is the type of fibroid which is most likely to require medical intervention.
Next read about a fibroids diagnosis.
Overview of the condition: What are uterine fibroids?