Why do uterine fibroids cause painful menstrual cramps?

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Rafael J. Perez, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Fibroids can be painful to some patients. Uterine fibroids can cause inflammation on the uterus, which can lead to painful menstrual cramping. Also, the passage of blood clots through the cervix can cause painful menstrual cramps. Each patient is different.
Fibroids can cause pain in 2 distinct ways:
  • By causing heavy menstrual flow which includes passage of blood clots. When these clots travel from the uterus through the cervix in to the vagina this elicits pain.
  • Fibroids that are large enough to press on adjacent pelvic nerves can cause pelvic pain which can radiate in to the lower back, hips, buttocks, and even down the legs.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Fibroids in a woman's uterus can make menstrual periods agonizing. Learn about medications that work as Dr. Oz and gynecologist Dr. Samantha Pfeifer discuss how to treat cramping in this video.


Continue Learning about Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

If you have uterine fibroids, you may never even notice that they are there. Ranging from the size of a small seed to grapefruit-sized, fibroids are tumors on the uterus that rarely cause harm. Some women have true discomfort with ...

fibroids, including pain in the abdomen or low back, or pain during sex. Sometimes, uterine fibroids can cause miscarriage, preterm labor, or even lead to infertility. Women in their 40s and 50s, women of African-American descent and women that are overweight are at higher risk of developing fibroids, although an estimated 20-80% of women will have them at some point before they turn 50. If your doctor notices fibroids during an ultrasound or pelvic exam, he or she may want to treat them with medication or surgery.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.