Understanding Uterine Fibroids and Your Symptoms
Uterine fibroids are an incredibly common diagnosis for women. It is common for women to have numerous fibroid tumors that are located in various parts of the uterus. In fact, three out of every four women in the U.S. have fibroids during their lifetime. Nearly 75% of women suffer from fibroids by the age of 50.
Two thirds of fibroid tumors are never diagnosed as only one in three women usually experiences symptoms. Fibroids are also often too small to be detected by a physician during a physical examination.
What are some common fibroid symptoms?
Fibroid tumors can cause moderate to severe abdominal pain and discomfort. They can affect fertility by changing the shape of the uterus or causing damage to it making it difficult or improbable to get pregnant.
The most common fibroid symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain and pressure
- Prolonged menstruation
- Abnormal and heavy bleeding
- Lower back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent need to urinate
- Enlarged abdomen
- Severe fatigue
Uterine fibroids can become dangerous in the event they cause blockages and other medical conditions such as iron-deficiency anemia.
Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. When you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or your hemoglobin is abnormal or low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. Women in the childbearing years are particularly susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia because of the blood loss occurrence from menstruation and during pregnancy.
Signs of anemia include fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, and severe headaches.
You do not have to feel alone during this time. The patient care team at the Fibroid Center at St Johns Interventional and Vascular Institute truly cares about you and your unique situation and is here to help.
The experts at the Fibroid Center can help detect, diagnose and treat your uterine fibroids with Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), the minimally-invasive treatment and safe non-surgical alternative to a traditional hysterectomy.