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 pregnancy. 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 forgotten 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.

Pain and discomfort due to fibroids

Uterine fibroids may cause pelvic pain which is often localized to a specific spot. However, chronic pelvic pain may also occur which is usually mild and persistent. Women with large fibroids will experience more pelvic discomfort. [1]Additionally, a fibroid on the back of your uterus may press against the muscles and nerves of your lower back, resulting in back pain. [2]

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 the women with fibroids. A research has found that more than 60% women with fibroids had lower back pain, and a22% reported general abdominal pain.  25.8% reported of constipation/bloating /diarrhea while 20.4% reported of pelvic pressure due to fibroids.[3]

To determine whether your uterine fibroids will cause symptoms of pain depends on the size, location, and the number of fibroids present. Listed below are some of the common causes of pain from uterine fibroids:[4]

  • Fibroids inside your uterus can distort itsshape.
  • 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 pelvic nerve can cause pain that may radiate to 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 that are compressed by large fibroids, can cause swelling in the soft tissue, thus restricting blood flow to the muscles in legs. Restricting normal blood flow can result in muscle pain or tingling/numbness.

Other symptoms of fibroids

Women who 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 are headaches, fatigue, and lightheadedness.

Fibroids may also cause complications in pregnancy or may make it difficult for you to get pregnant. There could be complications with anongoing pregnancy as well, such as premature labor and placental abruption. [5]

If fibroids press on the bladder, one can expect to experience frequent urination. Loss of bladder control can also occur leading many women to have to use the bathroom constantly or wear added protection. [6]

A large enough fibroid can push down on the rectum, making bowel movements difficult which can lead to constipation. Excessive rectal pressure due to constipation can result in hemorrhoids, which occur due to swollen veins in your anus.

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 have many freedoms compared to invasive procedures. UFE lets women skip the hospital stay and use of general anesthesia, have a shorter recovery, avoid external scarring and hormonal issues, and preserve their uterus.

In this procedure, an interventional radiologist will block supply of blood to your fibroids. After the procedure, your fibroids begin to shrink and you should experience a decrease in bleeding during and between your periods soon after.  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% [7].

Finding treatment for uterine fibroids

You can learn more about this FDA-approved, minimally invasive outpatient treatment for fibroids by visiting www.usafibroidcenters.com. Their specialists provide fibroid treatments without putting you under the knife through non-surgical methods. Recovery is fast and patients are discharged the same day of the UFE procedure. Call USA Fibroid Centers at (855) 615-2555 to discuss your condition with a specialist and explore your options for uterine fibroid pain management.

 

References

  1. https://fibroids.com/blog/tips-help-reduce-uterine-pain-caused-fibroids/  
  2. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/fibroids/signs_and_symptoms.html  
  3. https://www.dovepress.com/patient-reported-prevalence-and-symptomatic-burden-of-uterine-fibroids-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-IJWH {E}
  4. https://fibroids.com/blog/tips-help-reduce-uterine-pain-caused-fibroids/
  5. https://fibroids.com/blog/tips-help-reduce-uterine-pain-caused-fibroids/
  6. https://fibroids.com/blog/five-common-symptoms-associated-fibroids/
  7. https://www.sharecare.com/health/uterine-fibroids/why-fibroid-uterus-cause-back–pain  
  8. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-reason-that-uterine-fibroids-cause-leg-pain [B]