Most women with uterine fibroids are unaware that they have them. Although it’s a common condition, uterine fibroids can go undiagnosed because they typically mimic other conditions like heavy menstrual bleeding, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis or simply severe PMS.
Unfortunately, women believe that these symptoms are a part of the typical menstruation experience, meaning that they not only miss out on a proper diagnosis and treatment, but they also run the risk of potential pregnancy complications or, in rare cases, infertility.
Below are the top six symptoms of uterine fibroids that are often ignored, but shouldn’t be.
- Heavy bleeding – So many women are convinced that heavy menstrual bleeding is just a part of life, but this isn’t true. Heavy or severe bleeding during a period is not normal and can be indicative of an underlying health condition such as uterine fibroids. There is no reason to put up with or ignore a heavy period, especially if it interrupts your normal routine.
- Painful intercourse – Uterine fibroids can cause painful intercourse. If intercourse is painful once, then it’s possibly not a health concern, but if it is often painful, then you should visit your provider to discuss whether an underlying issue is present.
- Lower back pain – Sometimes, that lower back pain you feel isn’t there because you spent all week sitting at a desk. Persistent lower back pain should not be overlooked, as it can indicate other health issues, including fibroids.
- Constipation – Uterine fibroids can affect your digestion and can make you feel constipated.
- Feeling bloated – Bloating is a common PMS symptom that can mask the presence of uterine fibroids.
- Urinary frequency – If a fibroid is large enough, it can press on the bladder and cause the symptom of urinary frequency.
All together, these symptoms can negatively impact a woman’s quality of life, so even if you only suffer from one symptom it’s still important to discuss how you feel with your provider. Your provider can determine if there is a need for any testing or screening. If uterine fibroids are not present, there are still effective treatment options available to decrease or eliminate severe PMS symptoms.
If you believe you have uterine fibroids or experience any of the above symptoms, please contact Dr. Wittenberg of UGCSF today.