4 Telltale Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

4 Telltale Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

The odds are fairly good that you’ve had (or have) uterine fibroids given the fact that these growths affect up to 80% of women during their reproductive years. Yet, most of these women never even know of their existence because these growths don’t cause any issues.

For the women who do develop problematic uterine fibroids, life can get more than a little uncomfortable. If you’re dealing with some abnormalities in your reproductive health, such as heavy periods, and you want to figure out what’s behind your symptoms, exploring uterine fibroids is an excellent place to start.

To help, Dr. Jack Tubbs and the team here at Associates in Obstetrics & Gynecology pulled together four common signs of uterine fibroids, as well as your treatment options.

Uterine fibroid basics

Before we get into some of the more common signs, let’s take a broad look at uterine fibroids. These growths typically form in the muscular walls of the uterus, and in more than 99% of cases, the growths are noncancerous.

Fibroids typically grow during your 30s and 40s and tend to shrink after menopause. The growths can range from the size of a kernel of rice up to something much larger, such as a grapefruit. Obviously, the larger the fibroid, the greater your chances are of developing symptoms.

Outside of size, the location of the fibroids, as well as their number, can also influence whether you develop symptoms.

Common signs of uterine fibroids

When fibroids become problematic, it’s usually because of these symptoms:

1. Abnormal periods

A common complaint is periods that are heavier and last longer than normal periods. You may bleed for more than a week and soak through tampons and pads every few hours. As well, bleeding between periods is also attributable to uterine fibroids.

2. Pain or discomfort

If a fibroid is large or located in a sensitive spot, you can develop lower back pain or pelvic pain. We add discomfort to this because you might not feel pain exactly, but a sense of fullness and discomfort in your lower abdomen.

In addition to these symptoms, you may also experience pain during intercourse.

3. Trouble with urination and bowel movements

Another sign of uterine fibroids is changes in your bowel movements or urination. For example, you might need to pee more frequently or you might be constipated.

4. Difficulty with pregnancy

This symptom isn’t common, but some women with troublesome fibroids experience pregnancy issues. For example, women with fibroids are six times more likely to need a Cesarean section than women without fibroids.

Treating fibroids

To determine whether fibroids are behind your symptoms, come see us for an examination and ultrasound. If we find fibroids, we can discuss next steps, which might include hormonal medications that shrink the fibroids. This approach isn’t great, however, if you’re trying to get pregnant, as the hormone medications act as birth control as well.

In these cases, we can turn to a minimally invasive surgical procedure using advanced da Vinci® robotic technology to remove the growth(s).

No matter your circumstances, we’ll work with you to find a solution that addresses your goals and relieves your symptoms, whether you have uterine fibroids or another issue.

For expert diagnosis and care of uterine fibroids, we invite you to contact our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to schedule a consultation.

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