Could It Be Fibroids?
If you've been Googling your symptoms in an effort to figure out what might be wrong and you keep coming across descriptions of uterine fibroids, you may have begun to wonder if that might not be exactly what it is you're experiencing. But after that thought comes some fear.
You keep reading that fibroids are uterine growths. That sounds really scary. The word "growths" has visions of terminal cancer dancing in your head. But there's no need for alarm. Not all growths are cancerous and uterine fibroids are among those growths which are benign, or non-cancerous, by nature.
No one knows why these growths develop. But it seems that there is a genetic factor involved since women who develop fibroids often know of a close female relative who also has them. They're also more likely to occur among black women, and it is believed that almost half of black females develop fibroids after the age of 35.
Not all women have symptoms with their fibroids, but when they do, such symptoms can include:
*Heavy menstrual bleeding
*Prolonged menstrual bleeding (longer than a week)
*Difficulty in emptying the bladder
In some cases there can be sudden, severe pain as a fibroid becomes so big that it outgrows its own blood supply. Without a source of nutrients, the fibroid will die off. As this process unfolds, the fibroid breaks up leaving bits and pieces that can seep into surrounding areas, causing a great deal of pain and sometimes fever. Sometimes a fibroid is hanging by a stalk that is inside or outside of the uterus. This is called a pedunculated fibroid. As the fibroid twists and turns, its blood supply is cut off, triggering pain.
Location, Location, Location
The location of your fibroids may dictate the type of symptoms you'll have. Submucosal fibroids are those that grow inside the uterine cavity. These cause heavy, prolonged periods that may interfere with conception. Subserosal fibroids project in the direction of organs that are outside of your uterus. These fibroids may cause urinary symptoms if they are pressing on your bladder, or constipation should they project in the direction of your rectum. Where there is backache, the fibroid may be pressing on your spinal nerves.
It can be difficult to know when you are justified in calling your doctor about your symptoms. In general, if you have any of these signs, it's time to make an appointment:
*You have difficulty moving your bowels
*You have trouble emptying your bladder
*Intercourse is painful
*You are spotting or bleeding in between periods
*Your periods become very painful or very heavy
*You have chronic, persistent pelvic pain
Time To Call
Should you experience very severe vaginal bleeding or sudden, sharp pelvic pain, call your doctor right away or head to the emergency room.