May 29, 2016
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Uterine Growths (cont.)

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What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids and what do they look like?

Most women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms. However, fibroids can cause a number of symptoms depending on their size, location within the uterus, and how close they are to adjacent pelvic organs. Large fibroids can cause:

  • Bleeding
  • Pressure
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pressure on the bladder with frequent or even obstructed urination
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Reproductive difficulties such as infertility, miscarriage, or premature labor
  • Pressure on the rectum with pain during defecation.

Abnormal uterine bleeding is the most common symptom of a fibroid. If the tumors are near the uterine lining, or interfere with the blood flow to the lining, they can cause heavy periods, painful periods, prolonged periods or spotting between menses. Uterine fibroids that are deteriorating can sometimes cause severe, localized pain.

Picture of uterine fibroids
Picture of Uterine Fibroids

If uterine fibroids are benign, why are they the reason for so many hysterectomies (surgeries performed to remove the uterus)?

The main answer is that uterine fibroids can cause bleeding. This bleeding can sometimes be significant and lead to anemia. Fibroids can also lead to complications as discussed in the next section. Fortunately, there are also many non-surgical means available to treat fibroids.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/2/2015



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