Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

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Dr. Sam is trained on the da Vinci Surgical System and performs several hysterectomies and other procedures at Broward Health Imperial Point in Fort Lauderdale, FL

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during your childbearing years. Also called fibromyomas, leiomyomas or myomas, uterine fibroids aren't associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer.

As many as 3 out of 4 women have uterine fibroids sometime during their lives, but most are unaware of them because they often cause no symptoms. Your doctor may discover them incidentally during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.

In general, uterine fibroids cause no problems and seldom require treatment. Medical therapy and surgical procedures can shrink or remove fibroids if you have discomfort or troublesome symptoms. Rarely, fibroids can require emergency treatment if they cause sudden, sharp pelvic pain or profuse menstrual bleeding.

Symptoms
In women who have symptoms, the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
•    Heavy menstrual bleeding
•    Prolonged menstrual periods — seven days or more of menstrual bleeding
•    Pelvic pressure or pain
•    Frequent urination
•    Difficulty emptying your bladder
•    Constipation
•    Backache or leg pains

Rarely, a fibroid can cause acute pain when it outgrows its blood supply. Deprived of nutrients, the fibroid begins to die. Byproducts from a degenerating fibroid can seep into surrounding tissue, causing pain and fever. A fibroid that hangs by a stalk inside or outside the uterus (pedunculated fibroid) can trigger pain by twisting on its stalk and cutting off its blood supply.

Fibroid location influences your signs and symptoms:

•  Submucosal fibroids. Fibroids that grow into the inner cavity of the uterus (submucosal fibroids) are thought to be primarily responsible for prolonged, heavy menstrual bleeding and are a problem for women attempting pregnancy.

•  Subserosal fibroids. Fibroids that project to the outside of the uterus (subserosal fibroids) can sometimes press on your bladder, causing you to experience urinary symptoms. If fibroids bulge from the back of your uterus, they occasionally can press either on your rectum, causing constipation, or on your spinal nerves, causing backache.

Participants

Featuring:

Lanalee Araba Sam

Lanalee Araba Sam, MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology

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