Fibroid Symptoms


Have you ever felt a subtle discomfort in your lower abdomen?

For many women, this mystery is often fibroids—common, non-cancerous tumors that can disrupt well-being. Navigating pelvic health can be puzzling, with your body signaling you to pay attention to your reproductive health.

What are Common Fibroid Symptoms?

While many women may have fibroids without experiencing any noticeable symptoms, others may encounter various signs that could indicate their presence. Here are some common uterine fibroid symptoms:

Fibroids situated near the uterine lining can lead to consistently heavy and extended menstrual periods. Large blood clots and discomfort frequently accompany the excess bleeding. You are suffering with heavy menstrual bleeding if:

  • You lose more than 80 ml of blood during your menstrual cycle.
  •  You suffer ‘‘gushing blood’’ during menstrual periods. 
  •  Your menses last for > 8 days. 
  •  Gap between two consecutive menses is < 24 days. 
  • You need to change sanitary pads every hour or two.
  • You need to use two pads simultaneously.
  • You wake up in the night, to change your sanitary pad
  • You passing heavy thick clots > 1 inch in diameter

The pelvic pain associated with fibroids typically spans across the entire pelvic region. However, it can be more pronounced on one side, especially if a dominant fibroid (larger than the others) is on that same side. Sudden onset of severe pelvic pain is less frequent and indicates fibroid degeneration, or a twisting of fibroid.

The presence of numerous or large fibroids inside the uterus can cause a noticeable increase in abdominal size without a significant rise in overall body weight. This enlargement is commonly linked to the size increase experienced during pregnancy.

An enlarged uterus can result from conditions like uterine fibroids and adenomyosis. Women with fibroids may be mistaken for being pregnant due to the enlargement caused by these growths.

Persistent fullness in the bladder, frequent bathroom visits, and nighttime awakenings may signal fibroids. When fibroids, particularly those at the front of the uterus, press on the bladder, it increases urinary frequency, causing sleep disruptions with multiple nighttime awakenings. Similarly, fibroid arising from the posterior wall of the uterus, may compress rectum and cause frequent urge to pass stool (tenesmus).

What are Less Common Fibroid Symptoms?

While many women with fibroids experience the more common symptoms, like heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain, there are less common fibroid symptoms that some individuals may encounter. These less common signs of fibroids can include:

Fibroids positioned at the back of the uterus can exert pressure on pelvic nerves, giving rise to lower back pain. This discomfort may extend beyond the back, affecting the buttocks, hips and even radiating down the legs.

Lower back pain caused by fibroids can radiate into one or both legs, resembling sciatica pain from a lower back injury.
This similarity in symptoms can sometimes pose challenges for healthcare providers in accurately identifying the source of the pain.

Women with fibroids may encounter pain during sex, known as dyspareunia. This discomfort is often associated with fibroids located near the cervix.
While strategies like changing positions or using support aids may offer relief, eliminating this discomfort typically requires addressing and treating the fibroids.

Fibroids can lead to anemia (low hemoglobin in blood) due to significant blood loss during menses. Because of low hemoglobin, one may always feel lethargic, easily fatigable and breathless at home and at the office.
Many may not recognize that feeling lightheadedness, migraine-like headaches, and pica—an unusual craving for non-nutritive substances like ice, chalk, dirt, or clay could be a sign of anemia. Submucous fibroids suffer heavy menstrual bleeding, i.e., lower hemoglobin levels and a higher risk of anemia.

Uterine fibroids are responsible for approximately 5%–10% of infertility cases. Fibroids affect fertility by changing the cervix shape, hindering sperm entry and pressuring the fallopian tubes, hindering conception. They also weaken the uterine lining, reduce blood supply, cause congestion for an embryo, and heighten miscarriage risk. About 40 % of women with fibroids may experience spontaneous abortions.
Infertility is frequently caused by submucous location of fibroids rather than fibroid located elsewhere. Submucous fibroids cause local irritation, disrupt the intrauterine environment and reduce endometrial receptivity for implantation. Large submucous fibroid may distort the uterine cavity, altering its contour and surface area, thereby impairing implantation rates.
Even surgery to remove fibroids (myomectomy) can cause problems with scars. If you’re trying to have a baby and dealing with fibroids, it’s crucial to understand and tackle these issues for a better shot at getting pregnant.

Play Video

Navigating Fibroid Symptoms:
Talk to Dr. Sandeep Burathoki for Personalized Solutions

Understanding the varied signs of fibroids, from heavy periods to back pain and fertility challenges, is crucial for women’s reproductive health. It is advisable to record dates and blood flow quantity throughout the month by maintaining a Menstrual calendar. Smartphone applications, or “apps,” are available to chart menstrual timing and flow.

If you resonate with any of these uterine fibroid symptoms, don’t hesitate to take the next step. 

Consult with Dr. Sandeep