Uterine Fibroids Facts
As many as 7 out of 10 women may have uterine fibroids (also called leiomyomas) sometime during their lives. Uterine fibroids are:
- growths within the uterus made up of muscle and connective tissue.
- variable in size ranging from microscopic to larger than a melon.
- almost always non-cancerous, but still may need to be removed surgically in order to treat symptoms
- rare in women who are under the age of 20
- fibroids can be associated with pain or heavy bleeding or both.
- the growth rate for uterine fibroids is unpredictable
- fibroids usually stop growing after a woman starts menopause.
Although most uterine fibroids are asymptomatic and often discovered during routine gynecological checkups, some fibroids can sometimes cause problems.
Uterine fibroid symptoms such as pelvic pain, painful intercourse, constipation, urinary frequency and/or loss of urine tend to be caused by a large fibroid(s) pushing against nearby structures. In contrast, heavy menstrual bleeding symptoms caused by fibroids are usually associated with fibroids located in or around the lining of the uterus.
The most common uterine fibroid symptoms include:
Excessive Menstrual Bleeding. Most women with fibroids experience heavy bleeding, sometimes even causing anemia.
Pelciv Cramping & Pain. Uterine fibroids can increase a patient’s chances of painful menstrual cramping.
Pelvic Pressure. A woman with fibroids may experience chronic pelvic pain and pressure as well as pain in the lower back and sides.
Urinary Frequency. If fibroids compress the bladder, patients may find themselves using the bathroom much more frequently than they normally do.
Painful Intercourse. Many women experience pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.