While uterine fibroids can cause a variety of symptoms, they may not cause any symptoms at all. Some women may not even know that they have one. However, uterine fibroids, may cause a wide range of symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms of uterine fibroid disease we see in our patients include:
- Menorrhagia (prolonged and/or profuse uterine & vaginal bleeding, also called hypermenorrhea). This is the most common symptom associated with uterine fibroids and the one that usually prompts a woman to make an appointment with our office. Depending on the amount of bleeding, a woman can become anemic (low blood counts) over several months. This anemia can cause chronic fatigue and overall weakness.
- Normal menstrual periods typically last four to five days, whereas women with uterine fibroids often have abnormal vaginal bleeding lasting longer than seven days. In some cases, our patients describe heavy uterine or vaginal bleeding lasting for months without stopping. As discussed above, depending on the amount and duration of vaginal bleeding, a woman can become anemic.
- Many women notice large ‘blood clots’ that pass during their menses. This type of abnormal vaginal bleeding and hypermenorrhea is not normal. Large clots during heavy vaginal bleeding could be a sign of uterine fibroids.
- Fibroids may cause a range of symptoms that are due to the large size within the pelvis. When fibroids grow, they often press on surrounding organs. When this happens, it can cause pain, pressure in the pelvic region, painful intercourse, frequent urination or infertility.
- When a woman has fibroids pressing on the inner lining of the uterus, it can prevent normal attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus. Or, if a embryo does attach to the uterus, the fibroid can limit the embryo’s growth and cause loss of the pregnancy. Both of these effects from fibroids lead to infertility.