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Uterine fibroids begin in cells in the smooth muscle tissue of the uterus. When these cells reproduce, they form growths that may develop in almost any area of the uterus. Many times, these growths don't cause noticeable symptoms. However, sometimes they may cause heavier or prolonged menstrual bleeding, especially if they form under the lining of the uterine wall. Excessive bleeding may lead to anemia, or a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells. Uterine fibroids may also press down on your bladder or rectum, causing frequent urination or difficulty emptying your bladder, or constipation.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus and can affect the body by causing prolonged menstrual bleeding that can eventually lead to anemia, irregular menstrual bleeding, painful menstrual cramping, pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, frequent urination, constipation, painful intercourse and even infertility.
Fibroids can affect the body in 2 main ways:
- They can cause symptoms most notably heavy menstrual bleeding (which can lead to significant anemia), pelvic pain, and increased urinary frequency.
- Infertility: They can interfere with every part of the fertility pathway from conception to delivery. These are usually submucosal (along the lining) or large intramural (muscular wall) fibroids.
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.