Fibroids and Cramps
Painful cramps during your period can be a sign of uterine fibroids. You also might notice cramping but no period if you have fibroids.
Understanding how to recognize fibroid cramps is an important part of managing your reproductive health. If left untreated, uterine fibroids can continue to grow, causing increasingly severe symptoms. They can also impact your fertility.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our doctors treat uterine fibroids using a non-surgical procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). If you’re experiencing severe cramps during your period or menstrual cramps but no period, schedule an appointment to see a fibroid specialist at one of our nearby fibroid centers.
We have over 40 outpatient clinics nationwide, and our experienced fibroid doctors can provide a diagnosis and treatment in our office. That means no surgery, hospital stay, or long recovery. Just an effective treatment, relief from painful fibroid cramps, and peace of mind that your reproductive health is in good hands.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are benign growths that form on uterine tissue. They can vary in type, size, and number. There’s no known cause, but there are factors that can increase your risk for fibroids, such as a family history of fibroids, being overweight, and a vitamin D deficiency.
Once they develop, they tend to keep growing through your childbearing years. The larger they get, the more severe the symptoms. Many women opt for fibroid treatment to get rid of the pain, discomfort, and uncertainty that come with fibroid symptoms.
In addition to severe cramps, fibroids can cause irregular bleeding, an enlarged uterus, frequent urination, and pain during intercourse. Some women have fibroids but don’t have any symptoms, or the symptoms are mild enough that they aren’t noticeable.
Wondering if fibroids are behind your symptoms? Take our symptom quiz to find out.
Why Do Fibroids Cause Cramps?
Many women experience cramping during their menstrual cycles. But when the pain is intense or you start noticing more pain than usual, fibroids might be the cause.
Menstrual cramps are caused by the contraction of the uterus. Every month, a lining builds up along the walls of the uterus. During your period, this tissue breaks down and your uterus expels it from your body.
Hormones called prostaglandins kick in during this process to cause the uterus to contract and flush out the uterine lining.
When there are fibroids present, more uterine lining develops. Then, the uterus has to work harder to expel the extra tissue — so the uterus contracts more and there’s more inflammation because your body releases more prostaglandins. These differences lead to more intense cramps.
There are other reasons why fibroids hurt during your period or in between periods:
- They can put pressure against the uterine cavity, causing pain.
- When fibroids cause heavier bleeding, it forces the uterus to contract more to expel larger blood clots.
What Do Fibroid Cramps Feel Like?
Fibroid cramps are more intense than normal cramps. You might feel them in the abdomen or in the lower back. They might feel like a dull aching. For some women, fibroids can cause extremely painful cramps that make it difficult to stand or walk.
Because fibroids develop over time, the painful cramping might increase gradually from month to month. Some women don’t notice the change and assume their painful cramps are a normal part of their periods.
But irregular or intense cramps are often a sign of fibroids, so it’s important to know the difference.
Normal menstrual cramps usually start shortly before your period and end after a day or two, although some women will experience mild cramping throughout their entire period. Severe menstrual cramps not caused by a health condition are known as primary dysmenorrhea.
Uterine fibroid cramping tends to be more intense. When you have particularly bad menstrual cramps that are caused by a disease or a physical problem, it’s known as secondary dysmenorrhea. Period pain from uterine fibroids is classified as secondary dysmenorrhea, and it often feels worse than normal menstrual cramps.
Another distinguishing factor of fibroid cramps is when they occur. For instance, do you have cramps a week before your periods? Do your painful cramps last throughout your entire period and beyond? Or, do you sometimes experience cramping but no period? These are all potential signs of uterine fibroids.
Cramps and Lower Back Pain But No Period – Is It Fibroids?
If you have cramps and pain in the lower back between your periods, it could be because of fibroids. As fibroids grow, they might start to push against surrounding tissues and organs. This pressure can cause increased pain during your menstrual cycle, but it can also lead to pain and discomfort at any time.
If you’re wondering why you’re having cramps but no period, consult with a specialist to find out the cause. Uterine fibroids are one possibility. However, menstrual cramps that occur after your period can also be a sign of other health issues, some of which are serious, such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
What to Do If You Have Irregular Cramping and Other Fibroid Symptoms
If you have severe cramps during your period, or if you’re wondering why you have cramping but no period, it’s important to see a doctor who can diagnose your condition and recommend the right treatment for you.
Cramps can make performing daily activities, like attending work and school, close to impossible. Many women continue to put up with painful cramping and pressure because they don’t know what their treatment options are.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our doctors specialize in treating fibroids with UFE. Because we offer a non-surgical treatment for fibroids, you can get rid of the cramps and other symptoms without having to undergo a hysterectomy or another type of surgery to remove the fibroids.
Our team of doctors are also caring and compassionate. They understand how difficult it can be to deal with fibroid pain and are here to help you feel better.
If you have fibroid cramps or are noticing menstrual cramps in between your periods or other abnormal symptoms, schedule a consultation at a USA Fibroid Centers clinic near you. We also provide virtual visits.
Schedule online or call 855.615.2555 to set up an appointment.