Many fibroids, even large ones, may cause no symptoms. They may be accidentally discovered during a regular pelvic examination. If a woman has symptoms, the most common may include the following: heavy or irregular vaginal bleeding: Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding known as menorrhagia is a common symptom of fibroid. Women may need to change the sanitary napkin every one or two hours, or some may be unable to leave the house during the heaviest day of flow. The excessive menstrual bleeding may result in anaemia.
Large fibroids may cause a feeling of heaviness or pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis. It usually causes a vague discomfort rather than sharp pain.
Acute and severe pelvic pain is not a very common symptom. It is caused due to degeneration in the fibroid or if the blood supply to a pedunculated fibroid is blocked. If pain is caused due to degeneration in the fibroid it is localised to a specific spot and improves within two to four weeks. Pain relieving medications such as ibuprofen can help to reduce or control the pain. If pain is caused to truncated blood supply to a pedunculated fibroid it needs immediate surgery.
Some women have mild but persistent pain confined to a specific area.
If the fibroid presses on the bladder it can cause bladder symptom such as increased frequency of urination (you may have to wake up several times during the night to empty the bladder), urinary tract infections, or some women may be unable to urinate despite a full bladder.
Some fibroids can compress the muscles and nerves of the lower back which may cause back pain. If the fibroid is large and on the back surface of the uterus it is more likely to cause back pain as compared to a small fibroid present in the wall of the uterus.
Some women with fibroid may fail to conceive (this is defined as an inability to conceive after 1 year of attempting to get pregnant).
A fibroid which presses the rectum can cause a sensation of rectal fullness, difficulty in bowel movement or pain with bowel movements. Pressure on the rectum can rarely lead to the development of a haemorrhoid.
Some women with fibroids can experience or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
If you have heavy bleeding, pelvic pain or any other symptom of fibroid which interferes with your everyday activities, consult your doctor to discuss fibroid treatment options.
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