Question

Uterine Fibroids

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

A Answers (11)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Fibroid Symptoms
    Uterine fibroids can cause symptoms ranging from heavy bleeding to leg pain. Watch the animation to learn more about symptoms of fibroids.

  • Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but some women with fibroids can have:
    • Heavy bleeding (which can be heavy enough to cause anemia) or painful periods
    • Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area (lower stomach area)
    • Enlargement of the lower abdomen
    • Frequent urination
    • Pain during sex
    • Lower back pain
    • Complications during pregnancy and labor, including a six-time greater risk of cesarean section
    • Reproductive problems, such as infertility, which is very rare.
    This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.
  • It is estimated that about 80-90% of women who have fibroids do not have any symptoms. However 10-20% may experience menstrual problems, pain, urinary/bowel problems, and a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. The size, location, and number of fibroids also plays a role in the types of symptoms a woman experiences.

    Menstrual problems: A woman with fibroids may have heavy bleeding and periods that are more painful and longer than normal. Fibroids may cause blood to stay in the uterus long enough for clots to form, which may then cause severe menstrual cramping. Patients with fibroids may experience bleeding in between periods. These symptoms are more common with fibroids that grow inside the uterus (submucosal fibroids).

    Pain: Pain and pressure may be felt in the pelvis (lower abdomen) of women with fibroids. The pain is sometimes caused when the fibroid starts to die off due to lack of nutrients and its byproducts are absorbed into the tissues. Some women experience pain in their backs or legs as well as pain during sexual intercourse. Bleeding during sexual intercourse has also been reported.

    Urinary/bowel problems: If the fibroids are located on the outside of the uterus (subserosal fibroids), they may put pressure on the bladder and may cause urinary and bladder problems. Some women feel like they have to urinate frequently and some have urinary incontinence, which is the inability to hold urination. Other women may have constipation or develop hemorrhoids if the fibroids are putting pressure on the rectum.

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  • AHealthwise answered

    Uterine fibroid symptoms can develop slowly over several years or rapidly over several months. Most women with uterine fibroids have mild symptoms or none at all and never need treatment.

    For some women, uterine fibroid symptoms become a problem. Pain and heavy menstrual bleeding are the most common symptoms. In some cases, difficulty becoming pregnant is the first sign of fibroids.

    Uterine fibroid symptoms and problems include:

    Abnormal menstrual bleeding, such as:

    • Heavier, prolonged periods that can cause anemia.
    • Painful periods.
    • Spotting before or after periods.
    • Bleeding between periods.

    Pelvic pain and pressure, such as:

    • Pain in the abdomen, pelvis or low back.
    • Pain during sexual intercourse.
    • Bloating and feelings of abdominal pressure.

    Urinary problems, such as:

    • Frequent urination.
    • Leakage of urine (urinary incontinence).
    • Kidney blockage following ureter blockage (rare).

    Other symptoms, such as:

    • Difficulty or pain with bowel movements.
    • Infertility. Sometimes, fibroids make it difficult to become pregnant.
    • Problems with pregnancy, such as placental abruption and premature labor.
    • Miscarriage.


    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit Healthwise.org

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

  • Some women with fibroids have mild or no symptoms, while for others symptoms are severe and disruptive. Common symptoms include:

    • heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
    • abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
    • pelvic pain (caused as the tumor presses on pelvic organs)
    • frequent urination
    • low back pain pain during intercourse
    • an enlarged abdomen, which causes a constant feeling of fullness or pressure

    Some women experience iron-deficiency anemia from heavy or prolonged menstrual periods or abnormal bleeding between periods.

  • AEvelyn Minaya, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
    Dr. Evelyn Minaya - What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

    Watch as Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Evelyn Minaya discusses the symptoms of uterine fibroids.


    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
  • Most commonly, uterine fibroids are small and do not cause symptoms. The main symptoms that do occur, however, can be classified into three categories: abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pressure and pain, and problems with reproduction. Abnormal bleeding is the most common symptom of fibroids and typically includes heavy or longer periods. Pain or pressure symptoms are caused by a bulky or irregularly shaped uterus from the fibroids in the uterine wall. These can occasionally put pressure on the bladder or the rectum, causing problems with urinating or stooling. Some women also report pain with menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea) or pain with intercourse (dyspareunia). Fibroids have also caused problems with reproduction that make the uterus unfavorable for pregnancy. For example, they can sometimes cause women to have problems with getting pregnant, miscarriage or premature delivery of the baby.
  • Fibroids are benign muscle tumors arising in the wall of the uterus. They can cause heavy bleeding, menstrual cramping, pain, infertility, and miscarriage.

    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

  • AKevin Windom, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered

    The most common symptoms seen with fibroids are heavy bleeding as well as painful menses. Some patients also complain of a fullness in the pelvic area or bloating in their abdomen. If the fibroids are in a certain position in the uterus, they can effect the bladder or the bowel causing urinary and fecal frequency and urgency. Some patients also have a significant amount of pelvic pressure, pelvic pain, and low back pain from their fibroids.

  • Symptoms of uterine fibroids, or myomas, may vary depending on where the fibroid develops and how large it is. In many cases, uterine fibroids don't cause noticeable symptoms. If uterine fibroids do cause symptoms, they most commonly cause heavier menstrual bleeding, or they may prolong menstrual bleeding to last longer than seven days. Sometimes, uterine fibroids may cause a feeling of pressure of fullness in the pelvic area. Other symptoms may include pelvic pain, frequent urination, pain during intercourse, enlargement of the lower abdomen, constipation, or back pain. In rare cases, degenerating fibroids (fibroids that start to die if they don't have enough blood supply) may cause severe pain.
  • ADebra Fulghum Bruce PhD, Healthcare, answered
    Many fibroids cause nothing more than mild pelvic pressure. However other common symptoms include: pelvic pain, painful periods, pelvic pressure or fullness, heavy periods, frequent or difficult urination, and chronic back pain.
    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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Why do uterine fibroids cause painful menstrual cramps?