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4 Common Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

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Fibroids or myomas are abnormal growths that often affect fertility and can cause heavy and unpredictable pain and bleeding. They increase the risk of preterm delivery, fetal growth restriction, and miscarriage. Moreover, fibroids can block natural childbirth and thus increase the risk of a cesarean section. Finally, they can provoke placental abruption - a condition in which the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. There is a genetic component to the susceptibility when it comes to developing fibroids, but the exact mechanism of this is still unknown. Let’s look at four common signs and symptoms that you may have uterine fibroids. 

1. Constant urge to urinate or feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen

Fibroids that are located on your bladder may cause a frequent urge to urinate. You may also experience a feeling of fullness in the area above your pubic bone. Women with very large fibroids who experience this fullness can actually develop constipation as well.

2. Heavier or longer periods

Heavier and longer periods often occur due to fibroids since these growths can be near the uterine lining and interfere with the blood flow. Heavier bleeding will result in blood clots. Fibroids can also make periods longer and cause bleeding between periods and dysmenorrhea

3. You can feel a mass above your pubic bone

Most people who have fibroids have multiple growths, and often more than a dozen which can be felt as mass above the pubic bone. In this area, the most common cause of the mass is multiple fibroids. Contact your gynecologist to be sure of the diagnosis and learn about possible treatment options.

4. Pelvic pain

Large and multiple fibroids can also lead to back pain. They may also provoke pain that is not clearly connected to your ovulation or period. Fibroid tumors may sometimes degenerate. This process occurs due to the fact that they grow faster than the body can supply blood to them and some parts of the fibroids begin to die which may also result in pelvic pain. While small parts of the fibroids can die, the fibroids actually will continue to grow as the outer layers continue to get larger and cause further problems.

What to do about it? 

If you experience one or several of these symptoms or signs, you need to consult your gynecologist and let him/her know about your problems. The easiest way to diagnose these growths is through a pelvic examination. Small fibroids may not be felt through pelvic examinations, therefore you may also need an MRI or ultrasound. 

Many women with fibroids do not need treatment since when they finally reach menopause around the average age of 50, the fibroids will start to disappear. But before this period, it is impossible to find out how large or how many fibroids will grow or whether they will provoke health issues. Doctors may sometimes prescribe birth control pills to help control menstrual bleeding changes, but it’s important to know that the medications available to reduce fibroids can lead to various side effects and aren't useful for most women.

A lot of women have tried alternative treatment options such as acupuncture and Chinese herbs but there are no reliable scientific studies that support these therapies at present. Before starting any treatment or a new supplement regimen it’s important to talk to your doctor in order not to harm yourself. Timely fibroid diagnosis will give you the most treatment options and will provide you with the chance to treat them with supplements, a healthy diet, and lifestyle changes rather than surgery.

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