Benign tumors known as uterine fibroids sometimes develop in the uterine walls. This is a common condition that can affect up to 50% of all women, usually during their childbearing years. It is known to associate the condition with hormonal imbalances but the cause for fibroids to occur is not established.
Because the condition is linked to the menstrual cycle, fibroids will continue to grow for as long as the patient is menstruating. The growth rate of the fibroids varies from one person to another but is generally very slow. Based on their growth, fibroids will also differ in size. While many will be small enough to be seen through a microscope, others can grow fairly large and even fill up the entire uterine cavity. The fibroids can range from one single to multiple in number.
Since the condition varies so greatly in women, the symptoms of uterine fibroids also affect its patients differently. While some women may not experience any signs of fibroid development, others will suffer from various painful symptoms. Some will only be diagnosed by default during an internal exam.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids encircle menstrual behavior. Women can experience many inconsistencies related to their periods. The regular menstrual cycle can alter by undergoing longer than usual periods or become erratic and have short frequent episodes of spotting or bleeding. Sometimes blood clots may appear in the menstrual discharge.
Due to inconsistent menstrual behavior, there could be a threat of excess bleeding leading to anemia like conditions. Common anemic symptoms include fatigue, lethargy and headaches among others.
Other symptoms of uterine fibroids depend on their size and location within the uterus. If fibroids take up strategic positions in the uterus, then the woman can also face problems trying to conceive.
Pelvic pressure and pain can also result from fibroid presence in the uterus. Fibroids can pressurize the bladder and rectum which in turn results in constipation. Further symptoms of uterine fibroids due to the increased pressure can cause abdominal pain and back ache. Even though these conditions are not significant markers of uterine fibroids alone, they should be addressed especially if you suspect that you might be suffering from fibroids.
In addition to pelvic pressure, uterine fibroids can also cause urinary inconsistencies. Both urinary and bowel movement can be affected by the presence of fibroids. Issues of frequency and retention can arise where the patient either has to urinate frequently or else finds it difficult to do so in spite of a full bladder.
More symptoms of uterine fibroids include discomfort during sexual intercourse. Based on fibroid placement within the body, certain positions can be more painful than others. Any kind of discomfort during intercourse should be addressed with immediate medical attention.
If fibroid growth expands to massive proportions then the woman can acquire an appearance of being pregnant. In addition to causing discomfort and sometimes embarrassment, this symptom of uterine fibroids is extremely unsightly.
Fibroids tend to shrink when women enter menopause. As hormonal changes happen within the body, fibroid growth gets inhibited and retards in this age.
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