Symptoms

Trouble conceiving and infertility

Infertility caused by fibroids is thought to represent only 2-3% of all infertility cases. In these cases, fibroids can potentially block the cervix or opening to the fallopian tubes causing infertility.

Constipation

Another possible effect of uterine fibroid tumor growth can be increased pressure on the bowel. When the fibroid growth is located towards the back, pressure applied to the rectum can cause constipation.

Weak bladder control or frequent urination from bladder pressure

Uterine fibroids can cause compression of the bladder leading to its decreased capacity. This can be disruptive to sleep and daytime activities. Occasionally, compression of the bladder can result in stress incontinence.

Lack of energy or fatigue from anemia/low blood count

Menorrhagia (prolonged and/or profuse menstrual bleeding) that occurs in women with symptomatic fibroids can sometimes cause anemia (that is, a low red blood cell count). This leads to low energy and tiredness because if heavy menstrual bleeding persists over time, the body may not be able to make new blood cells fast enough to replace those that have been lost. In such instances, women with fibroids may need to take iron pills to compensate for the loss of blood.

Lower back pain or pain in the back of the legs

As fibroids grow in size, they can apply extra pressure on the neighboring organs and nerves and cause unwarranted pain in the pelvic area. The pain may also radiate to the lower back and some women may also feel the pain extending into their legs.

Pain during sex or loss of libido

Painful sexual intercourse can have a variety of causes including fibroids that distort the vagina or produce pressure in the uterus. When fibroids grow in the area of the cervix at the end of the vaginal tract, they can make sex highly uncomfortable for women. This discomfort can lead to a loss of libido, which is a frequent complication for women with fibroids or adenomyosis.

Pelvic pressure and pain or distended and bloated abdomen

The uterus is typically as large as a small pear, weighing not more than a quarter of one pound. However, when there are fibroids growing inside, the uterus can become enlarged and create a sensation of fullness in the abdomen. As the fibroids enlarge the uterus, it can extend above the pelvic bone and cause anything from a small paunch to a very distended abdomen with an appearance of pregnancy. In fact, gynecologists often determine the size of the enlarged uterus by referencing it to a comparably sized pregnant uterus (# of weeks gestational size).

Irregular monthly bleeding or spotting, bleeding between periods, unpredictable menstrual cycles

Fibroids could cause irregular bleeding if they grow into the uterine lining.

Moderate to severe menstrual cramps

Uterine fibroids can cause heavy menstrual flow, which includes passage of blood clots. Clots that travel from the uterus through the cervix to the vagina can leads to cramping and pain. The presence of fibroids on the inside, outside or the wall of the uterus, can mean increased pressure, and so more severe menstrual cramping.

Pain is also a sign of adenomyosis.

Heavy, prolonged or painful mentrual periods with or without clotting

Typically, during a menstrual period, the uterine muscle will contract and tighten, causing blood to clot enough to stop menstrual bleeding. However, when fibroids are present in the uterine lining, they can prevent the uterus from fully contracting, causing a continuation in bleeding. The fibroids can also stimulate the blood vessels of the uterus, causing there to be more blood in the uterine cavity, leading to heavy periods.

Do you know?

Eat your vegetables:

Cruciferous vegetables support detoxification of your liver and help balance estrogen levels. While all vegetables are good for you, research has shown that high consumption of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and Chinese cabbage seems to be a protective factor for uterine fibroids. There are indicators that tomatoes and apples also have protective factors.

Exercise regularly:

Studies have shown that women who get exercise on a regular basis are less likely to develop fibroids.

Age Range:

Uterine fibroids usually appear in women of childbearing age — generally between 30 and 40 years old, but they can show up at any age.

Hydrate:

Drink two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 oz. of water once each day to help with the elimination of body toxins and with fat loss.

Ethnic Origin:

Black women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.