Signs and Symptoms

Most women with uterine fibroids display no symptoms, which is why uterus fibroids often go undetected. However, fibroid size, location within in the uterus, and proximity to adjacent pelvic organs can cause many painful and inconvenient symptoms. The most common symptoms of fibroids on the uterus include the following:

  • Heavy, prolonged menstrual periods, and/or bleeding between cycles - The most common symptom of uterine fibroids is prolonged and heavy bleeding during menstruation, which is caused by fibroid growth bordering the uterine cavity. Women may also notice menstrual periods that last longer than normal.
  • Menstrual pain - Heavy menstrual bleeding and clots can lead to severe cramping and pain during periods.
  • Abdominal pressure and pain - Women suffering from large fibroids may experience pressure or pain in the abdomen or lower back. While it may feel like menstrual cramps, it may be a result of fibroids.
  • Enlarged or distended abdomen - As fibroids grow larger, women may feel them as hard lumps in the lower abdomen. Especially large fibroids can even give the abdomen the appearance of pregnancy, along with a feeling of heaviness and pressure. Large fibroids are defined by comparing the size of the uterus with fibroids to the size it would be at specific months during pregnancy.
  • Pain during intercourse - Also known as dyspareunia, some women may experience pain during sexual intercourse. The source of the discomfort may be fibroids.
  • Urinary problems - Large fibroids may press against the bladder and urinary tract, which can cause frequent urination or the urge to urinate, particularly at night. Urinating more than eight times per day or 1-2 times per night is unusual.
  • Constipation – Pressure against the bowels or rectum from large fibroids can cause constipation.

Other fibroid tumor symptoms may include:

  • Passage of numerous clots during the menstrual cycle
  • Backache
  • Pelvic pain and pressure
  • Leg pain
  • Anemia
  • Difficulties during labor
  • Issues with fertility or pregnancy (repeated miscarriages)

I have symptoms. What can I do?

If you are any having these symptoms, discuss them with your women’s health physician or gynecologist. To learn more about how a non-surgical procedure called uterine fibroid embolization can relieve the symptoms of uterine fibroids, watch Dr. Karen Ehrman's free presentation.