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Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Digestive Problems?

7 Minute Read
Cropped shot of a young woman making a heart with her hands on her stomach as she contemplates whether uterine fibroids can cause digestive problems.

FIbroids are a non-cancerous growth in the uterus. They can often grow or develop without causing any symptoms or complications at all, especially if they are few in number or size. While it is possible to be asymptomatic, fibroids can cause a number of symptoms that interfere with your daily life — the question is, can uterine fibroids cause digestive problems?

The short answer is yes, but you may want to learn how can fibroids cause bowel problems if they are in the uterus. Understanding this can help you and your Viva Eve specialist determine what treatment options are best for you. We have taken the time to explore some of these causes as well as various treatments to help you feel more prepared to ask your specialist educated questions on your next visit.

How can fibroids cause bowel problems?

A lot of the symptoms associated with fibroids have to do with where in the uterus the growths occur and how large they become. Fibroids can grow inside the uterus (submucosal), within the uterine walls (Intramural), or outside the uterus (subserosal). The location of the fibroids is what determines the types of fibroid symptoms you experience.

For example, someone with fibroids close to the cervical opening may experience pain during sex versus someone who has intramural fibroids will likely have pelvic pain during menstruation because the fibroids prevent the uterus from contracting. When fibroids grow on the inside or outside of the uterus near the bladder, rectum, gastric or digestive system, only then can uterine fibroids cause digestive problems; simply being in the uterus isn’t enough to cause digestive specific problems.

If fibroids grow large enough or close enough to these areas then they can completely block the colon or rectum and cause severe constipation or strong and frequent urges to use the restroom. It is not the growth of fibroids alone that creates complications with digestive problems but instead the size, severity, and location that answers the question — can fibroids cause gastric problems?  

Can Fibroids cause gastric problems?

If you are experiencing difficulty emptying your bladder or experiencing constipation, you might start researching how can uterine fibroids cause digestive problems and what treatment methods to pursue. If digestive problems are starting to impact your life it is worth reaching out to one of our specialists to explore treatment options.

If you are afraid or embarrassed because fibroid growth is making you feel the need to constantly go to the bathroom, then it is negatively interrupting your life. The pressure of growing fibroids on the bladder or bowels can make it feel like you constantly have to go, and can simultaneously cause other issues like constipation. The uterus already sits close to the colon which makes it easy for fibroids to interfere with the digestive system when they grow.

While it is not the most common symptom, it is still normal to experience this discomfort with fibroids. If you are just now learning how can fibroids cause gastric problems and think this may be the source of your discomfort, reach out to your Viva Eve specialist to receive a diagnosis. 

How to know if fibroids are causing digestive problems

Large fibroids can grow in the uterus to the point where the abdomen swells and bloats. It is possible to confuse the feeling of bloating due to fibroids with gastric problems though they are not the same when it comes to fibroids. If you ask your specialist, can fibroids cause gastric problems, it can be helpful to be specific about what it is you are experiencing and where the discomfort is located.

Fibroids can contribute to bloating and weight gain when estrogen levels rise or fluctuate; usually due to pregnancy or menopause. If the fibroids grow large enough during this then the bloating can get heavier and turn into weight gain. Minimal or early signs of bloating can sometimes feel gastrointestinal or similar to bloating associated with a regular menstrual cycle.

If you feel like your bloating is worsening or increasing, it is possible you have uterine fibroids. If the symptoms are associated with feelings of gas or with difficult or frequent bowel movements, it is possible fibroids are interfering with your digestive system and that you will need to seek out medical treatment. 

It may have not occurred to you how can uterine fibroids cause bowel problems indirectly. It’s a possibility that constipation could be caused not from the fibroids themselves, but instead from increasing iron intake. If you are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding due to fibroids, you might explore taking supplements like iron to help slow the bleeding and prevent or help with anemia. Higher amounts of iron in the diet can sometimes cause constipation.

It is for reasons like this that it is always best to talk with your specialist before taking supplements or self diagnosing. It is also important to not rely on laxatives to resolve the issue as this can worsen the condition. If constipation is being caused by fibroids, your specialist will likely try and treat the uterine fibroids directly instead of just the symptoms you are experiencing. 

Understanding how can fibroids cause bowel problems can help you explain the difference between a feeling of bloating or gastric problems which can help your fibroid specialist provide a more accurate diagnosis. So can uterine fibroids cause digestive problems? The answer is yes, though not always. It is important to meet with your fibroid specialist to receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. 

Fibroid Treatment

Can uterine fibroids cause digestive problems? We know they can but how do we treat them? In addition to asking you doctor questions like how can fibroids cause bowel problems, you should also ask them about different fibroid treatment options like UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization).

Methods like UFE can be useful for digestive and gastric problems caused by fibroids because it is a minimally invasive procedure that cuts off blood supply to growing fibroids and causes them to shrink. This procedure has a high success rate, a quick recovery time, and minimal scarring. If growing fibroids are pressing on your digestive system and causing problems, this option could be very helpful and offer relief by shrinking those fibroids. 

Another procedure to ask your specialist about are types of myomectomies. If your fibroids are few in number and small enough in size, a minimally invasive procedure like a laparoscopic myomectomy could work well in removing the fibroids that are causing complications. If the fibroids are larger or are great in number, your Viva Eve specialist might recommend a different kind of myomectomy called an open or abdominal myomectomy.

While this procedure is more invasive, it might be the most effective option to relieve pressure against the digestive organs and rectum. As always, it is best to ask your doctor questions about your symptoms and potential procedures. Asking questions about how can uterine fibroids cause digestive problems and whether or not a procedure like UFE is right for you is a great place to start. 

Another type of myomectomy you and your fibroids specialist may consider is LAAM (Laparoscopic Assisted Abdominal Myomectomy). This procedure is effective for both small and large fibroids and is favorable over an abdominal myomectomy. LAAM procedure is a type of minimally invasive procedure that leaves the uterus intact while removing fibroids. Small incisions are made for this procedure and it has a quick recovery time. 

Every case of fibroids is unique, so it is essential to communicate with your Viva Eve specialists to find the best solution for you. If you are experiencing symptoms of fibroids, or want to find out more about how can fibroids cause gastric problems, schedule an appointment with your Viva Eve specialist to learn more and receive effective and thoughtful care.