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Uterine Fibroids Symptoms

Uterine Fibroids Symptoms
Uterine Fibroids
Causes and Risk Factors

Symptoms of uterine fibroids
Growth and location are the main factors that determine if a fibroid leads to symptoms and problems.  For example, a small lesion can be symptomatic if located within the uterine cavity while a large lesion on the outside of the uterus may go unnoticed.

In some women, fibroids do not cause symptoms. However, in many women fibroids cause abnormal uterine bleeding and pelvic discomfort. Furthermore, some women with fibroids may not be able to get pregnant naturally.  Women with uterine fibroids may experience symptoms such as:

  • bleeding between periods
  • excessive or painful bleeding during menstruation
  • a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen
  • frequent urination
  • low back pain
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • pelvic pain

Although uterine fibroids usually aren't dangerous, they can cause discomfort and may lead to complications such as anemia from heavy blood loss. Complications of uterine fibroids generally vary based on the number, size and location of fibroids. Other complications include:

Birth problems - Premature labor and delivery, abnormal fetal position, and separation of the placenta from the uterine wall are possible in pregnant women with fibroids.

Fertility problems - Fibroids usually don't interfere with conception and pregnancy. In fact, fibroids are not a typical cause for infertility and only account for about 3% of cases. However, uterine fibroids can distort or block the fallopian tubes, or interfere with the passage of sperm from the cervix to the fallopian tubes. Furthermore, submucosal fibroids may prevent implantation and growth of an embryo.

Lower abdominal pain - In rare cases, fibroid tumors can grow out of the uterus on a stalk-like projection and cause a sudden, sharp, severe pain in the lower abdomen that requires surgery.

Miscarriage - Research indicates that pregnant women with fibroids are at slightly increased risk of miscarriage. Women diagnosed with fibroids that have experienced repeated pregnancy losses, might remove one or more fibroids to improve the chances of carrying a baby to term.

Rotated uterus - Subserosal or intramural fibroids may become so enlarged that they make the uterus unstable and start to incline or rotate (torsion) the uterus.

When to seek help
Symptoms of uterine fibroids may be indicators of other medical problems. But certain signs and symptoms may signal the need for treatment. You should seek medical help as soon as you notice symptoms, or if you are uncertain whether a growth is a fibroid or another type of tumor, such as an ovarian tumor. Call your doctor if you have:

  • abdominal discomfort that lasts 1 week or longer
  • bloating that persists for more than 2 days
  • burning sensation during urination
  • frequent urination
  • diarrhea for more than 5 days
  • difficulty emptying the bladder
  • fever
  • overly heavy or painful periods
  • pain that develops during pregnancy
  • pain during intercourse
  • pelvic pain that doesn’t go away
  • prolonged poor appetite
  • spotting or bleeding between periods
  • unexplained weight loss

Seek prompt medical care if you experience severe vaginal bleeding or sharp pelvic pain that comes on suddenly. Furthermore, seek immediate medical help or call 911 if you:

  • are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
  • have blood in your stool (especially if maroon or dark, tarry black)
  • have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
  • have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
  • have pain in the shoulder blades with nausea
  • notice the belly is rigid, hard, and tender to touch
  • vomit blood

If symptoms of uterine fibroids such as abdominal discomfort, pelvic pain or bloating last more than a few days, or if you experience sharp abdominal pain, see a doctor. This way, s/he can make a proper diagnosis as to whether or not you have uterine fibroids. To learn more about how your doctor will make the diagnosis, read the next section on Diagnosing Uterine Fibroid now.

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Tags: bleeding between periods, fertility problems, sexual intercourse, vaginal bleeding, fallopian tubes, abdominal pain, shoulder pain, complications, Menstruation, Infertility, conception, treatment, Pregnancy, premature, Fertility, diagnosis, vomiting, Diarrhea, placenta, pregnant
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