Uterine fibroids are benign lumps or growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. Symptoms may range from heavy bleeding between or during periods to pain in the pelvis, lower back, and/or during sexual intercourse. Other signs to watch out for include frequent urination, leakage of urine, and difficulty in conceiving.
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. About 20 % to 80% of women develop fibroids when they reach age 50. Fibroids exist as a single tumor. Sometimes, there can be many of them in the uterus. The size of the fibroids can vary. There are a few factors that can lead to the development of fibroids:1
- Age: More common as women age.
- Obesity: Overweight women has a greater chance.
- Ethnic origin: African-Amerian women are at higher risk.
- Eating habits: Women who eat lot of red meat and ham are likely to develop fibroids.
Not all women with fibroids have symptoms. But, some women will have following symptoms.
1. Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy bleeding is the most common symptom of fibroids. It can be heavy enough to cause anemia. Women with fibroids may also have painful periods. They may experience abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods. If the menstrual periods last more than a week, they should seek medical attention.
2. Pelvic Pain
Experiencing severe pain in the abdomen, pelvis or low back can be a warning sign of fibroids. If you have pain during sexual intercourse, then you need to consult a doctor.
3. Urinary Problems
Frequent urination and leakage of urine are other signs of fibroids. Women with fibroids will have difficulty in emptying the bladder.
4. Other Symptoms
Infertility is sometimes related to fibroids. However, it is rare. Women with fibroids will have a tough time during pregnancy. Certain pregnancy complications, such as placental abruption and fetal growth restriction happen due to this.2 There is also a risk of premature labor.
Uterine fibroids are usually not dangerous. In most cases these tumors are non-cancerous. However, if you have these annoying symptoms, seek medical attention.
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