What is Fibroid Bleeding?
It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in their life. These benign tumors, which form in or on the uterus, are often the underlying cause of heavy menstrual bleeding, unpredictable menstrual cycles, and painful periods. Fibroids typically affect women of reproductive-age, and disproportionately impact black women, who are likely to develop them earlier in life.
In the past, a hysterectomy was the prescribed solution for treating these symptoms. Today, there are minimally invasive techniques that offer symptom control, such as uterine fibroid embolization. Receiving a diagnosis is the first step to finding the best course of treatment.
There are a number of factors that determine which fibroid symptoms a woman experiences, such as the size of her fibroid(s), location, and number. There are several types of fibroids, and there are symptoms that are commonly associated with each.
Because symptoms of fibroids overlap with adenomyosis and endometriosis, it’s important to seek a specialist who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis. Fibroid symptoms include:
- Moderate to severe menstrual cramps
- Mild to severe pain
- Heavy Bleeding
- Enlarged uterus
- Pain during sex
- Loss of libido
- Unexplained weight gain
- Weak bladder control
- Frequency in urination
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the back of the legs
- Pelvic Pressure
- Distended and bloated abdomen
Causes of Fibroid Bleeding
When fibroids grow into the uterine lining, this can cause irregular monthly bleeding or spotting, bleeding between periods, and unpredictable menstrual cycles, as well as heavy, prolonged or painful periods with or without clotting.
Typically, during your period, the uterine muscles 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.
Anemia (low blood count) that can lead to a lack of energy and fatigue:
- Menorrhagia, prolonged or profuse menstrual bleeding experienced by women with symptomatic fibroids, can sometimes cause a woman to become anemic. With heavy menstrual bleeding persisting 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, some women with fibroids may need to take iron pills to compensate for the loss of blood.
Moderate to severe menstrual cramps:
- Uterine fibroids can cause heavy menstrual flow which includes passage of blood clots. When these clots travel from the uterus through the cervix to the vagina, it leads to cramping and pain. Because fibroids are benign tumors that can grow on the inside, outside or the wall of the uterus, the pressure caused by their growth can increase menstrual cramping.
- Infertility caused by fibroids is thought to represent only 2-3% of all infertility cases. Fibroids can potentially block the cervix or opening to the fallopian tubes causing infertility.
Treatment for Bleeding Fibroids
If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding or any of the other symptoms of uterine fibroids, our top-rated fibroid specialists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat your symptoms. With longer, in-depth appointments, one-on-one patient education, and an interdisciplinary team of specialists all in house, we provide you with comprehensive, empowering care.