Let’s face it, fibroids suck. They interfere with both your personal and work life, cause extremely unpredictable symptoms, and can even affect your chances of getting pregnant. When people first think of uterine fibroid symptoms, one typically pictures the common issues like heavy bleeding, frequent urination, bloating, cramping, or bleeding between periods.
However, an often ignored symptom of uterine fibroids is lower back pain and pressure that often becomes more persistent as the fibroids grow.
This discomfort can make it difficult to sleep, and may even cause you to wake up suddenly at night.
Check out the video below to gain a better understanding of what to expect with fibroid pain.
Pain and Discomfort Due to Fibroids
Uterine fibroids may cause pelvic pain localized to a specific spot. However, chronic pelvic pain may also occur but is usually mild and persistent.
Women with large fibroids will experience more pelvic discomfort. Additionally, a fibroid on the back of the uterus may press against the muscles and nerves of the lower back, resulting in back pain.
Another symptom of uterine fibroids is pain during intercourse. You may experience pain only in certain positions or constant pain throughout intercourse.
How Uterine Fibroids Cause Pain
Non-bleeding symptoms are a substantial burden on women with fibroids. A research study found that more than 60% women with fibroids had lower back pain, and 22% reported general abdominal pain. 25.8% reported of constipation/bloating /diarrhea while 20.4% reported of pelvic pressure due to fibroids.
The symptoms that develop depend on the size, location, and the number of fibroids present. Below are some of the common causes of pain from uterine fibroids:
- Fibroids inside your uterus can distort its shape.
- Fibroids located on the outside of your uterus may press against your bladder, rectum, or spinal nerves, causing back pain and abdominal pressure.
- Some fibroids are attached by stalks either inside or outside of your uterus that may become twisted.
- Fibroids sitting on sciatic nerves can cause back pain as well.
Back and Leg Pain
A fibroid pressing on a spinal nerve, vein, or artery in the lower back can cause leg or back pain. A large fibroid pressing on the pelvic nerve can cause pain that may radiate to the lower back, hip, buttock, thigh, or down the leg.
A fibroid pressing against the sciatic nerve sends pain down the back of leg, making it difficult to stand for long periods. Blood vessels compressed by large fibroids can cause swelling in the soft tissue, thus restricting blood flow to the leg muscles. Restricting normal blood flow can result in muscle pain or tingling/numbness.
Other Symptoms of Fibroids
Women that experience increased bleeding from uterine fibroids may develop anemia, a condition in which you don’t have enough iron in your blood.
Symptoms of anemia include: headaches, fatigue, and feeling lightheaded. Fibroids may also cause complications in pregnancy or may make it difficult for you to get pregnant. There could be complications with an ongoing pregnancy, such as premature labor or placental abruption.
If fibroids are pressing on your bladder, you may experience frequent urination. Loss of bladder control can also occur. This can lead to having to use the bathroom constantly, or wear added protection. If the fibroids is large enough, it can push down on the rectum, making bowel movements difficult which may cause constipation. Excessive rectal pressure due to constipation can also result in hemorrhoids, which occur due to swollen veins in your anus.
If you experience any of these symptoms and are looking for relief, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a fibroid specialist. A fibroid specialist will evaluate your symptoms, medical, history, and family history to determine the best way to treat your fibroids.
Treating Fibroids Non-Surgically
Uterine fibroids pain treatment may include medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), invasive procedures like myomectomy and hysterectomy, and non-surgical options like uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). Non-surgical fibroid treatment options allow a woman to skip the hospital stay and use of general anesthesia, recover quicker, avoid external scarring and hormonal issues, and preserve their uterus.
In this procedure, an interventional radiologist will cut of the fibroid’s blood supply. After the procedure, your fibroids should begin to shrink. Then you should experience a decrease in bleeding during and between your periods. The procedure allows women to recover in the comfort of their own home, instead of a hospital, which is a major benefit of non-surgical fibroid treatment.
UFE doesn’t require a large abdominal incision or require extended recovery time. The overall success rate of UFE procedures is 94%.
Finding Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
You can learn more about this minimally invasive outpatient treatment for fibroids by giving us a call at 855.615.2555. Our specialists provide fibroid treatments without putting you under the knife through our non-surgical methods. Recovery is fast and you can leave the same day of the procedure.