Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus. They are a common gynaecological condition, affecting up to 70% of women by the age of 50.
Fibroids can vary in size, ranging from as small as a seed to as large as a grapefruit, and may occur individually or in clusters.
Although the exact cause of uterine fibroids is still unknown, certain factors increase the risk of developing them.
Fibroids often go undetected, as many women experience no symptoms.
Understanding the signs and potential risks associated with uterine fibroids is critical for early detection and effective treatment, ensuring a healthier and more comfortable future.
Signs & Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
The symptoms of uterine fibroids can vary greatly from one woman to another, with some experiencing no symptoms at all.
However, when symptoms do occur, they may include:
Heavy menstrual bleeding:
One of the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids is prolonged and heavy periods, sometimes leading to anaemia.
Pelvic pain or pressure:
As fibroids grow, they may cause discomfort, a feeling of fullness, or pressure in the pelvic area.
Larger fibroids can press against the bladder, causing increased urinary frequency or difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
Fibroids may also put pressure on the rectum, leading to constipation or difficulty with bowel movements.
Backache or leg pain:
In some cases, fibroids may cause pain in the lower back or radiating pain in the legs due to pressure on nerves or surrounding tissues.
Particularly large fibroids may cause noticeable swelling or enlargement of the lower abdomen.
Pain during intercourse:
Some women may experience pain or discomfort during sexual activity due to the presence of fibroids.
Uterine fibroids can potentially lead to infertility, miscarriages, or complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
It’s important to note that the presence and severity of these symptoms often depend on the size, location, and number of fibroids.
Women who suspect they may have uterine fibroids should consult their healthcare provider or Cunsult with Dr. Kaurabhi Zade Uterine Fibroid Specialist in Pune for proper evaluation and treatment options.
Is Uterine Fibroids a Serious Condition?
Uterine fibroids are typically non-cancerous growths and are not considered life-threatening.
However, they can still cause significant discomfort and impact a woman’s quality of life.
The seriousness of uterine fibroids depends on the size, location, and number of fibroids, as well as the severity of the symptoms experienced.
In some cases, uterine fibroids may lead to complications such as:
Heavy menstrual bleeding caused by fibroids can result in anaemia, which is a deficiency of red blood cells that can cause fatigue and weakness.
Reproductive Issues :
Fibroids can potentially cause infertility, miscarriages, or complications during pregnancy and childbirth, such as preterm labour or increased risk of cesarean delivery.
Urinary & Bowel Problems :
Large fibroids can compress the bladder or rectum, leading to frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, or constipation.
In some cases, fibroids can cause severe pain if they outgrow their blood supply and begin to die (a process called degeneration), or if they twist on their stalk (pedunculated fibroids).
While uterine fibroids are not generally considered a serious condition, it is essential to monitor them and seek medical advice if symptoms become severe or affect daily life.
Treatment options are available to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected.
But, it is also very important to know
When to See Doctor?
It is essential to consult a healthcare provider if you suspect you may have uterine fibroids or are experiencing symptoms that could be related to fibroids.
Some key instances when you should see a doctor include:
Heavy menstrual bleeding:
If you are experiencing prolonged, heavy periods that interfere with your daily activities or cause anaemia, it is crucial to seek medical advice.
Severe Pelvic Pain :
Persistent or severe pelvic pain, especially if it is not related to your menstrual cycle, should be evaluated by a healthcare professional
Changes in Urinary or Bowel Habits :
If you notice an increase in urinary frequency, difficulty emptying your bladder, or persistent constipation, these may be signs of fibroids pressing on your bladder or rectum.
Enlarged Abdomen :
A noticeably swollen or enlarged lower abdomen could be due to large fibroids and should be examined by a doctor.
Pain During Intercourse :
Experiencing pain or discomfort during sexual activity may be a sign of fibroids and warrants a medical evaluation.
Difficulty Getting Pregnant :
If you are having trouble conceiving or have experienced multiple miscarriages, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine if uterine fibroids or other factors may be contributing to fertility issues.
Early detection and treatment of uterine fibroids can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.
Regular gynaecological checkups, along with open communication with your healthcare provider about any concerns, can help ensure your reproductive health remains in optimal condition.