Every woman has most likely heard of uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors that develop in the walls of her uterus.
Though it might sound like something gross and/or worrisome, most American women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health. In one study, 70 percent of white women had developed tumors by age 50, and for African American women, it was 80 percent.
Many times, these tumors don’t cause symptoms and aren’t harmful. However, some of them can also cause difficulty getting pregnant, painful periods, and infection.
There are several symptoms you can be on the look out for in case you feel you might want to get tested for uterine fibroids and have a doctor see if you even have any that could potentially have harmful effects on your body later.
If you’re worried about having these tumors, look for the following symptoms.
1. You bleed heavily, and we mean real heavy.
A very common symptom for fibroids is heavy vaginal bleeding, and we’re talking long periods of bleeding and having it be excessive. Sure, some people have a heavy day or two, which is normal and not really a need for concern. However, if you’re going through overnight pads like crazy and feel like you’re bleeding buckets for far too long, go see your gyno.
2. You have pelvic pain that doesn’t seem normal.
Pain is usually a symptom that’s hard to ignore, and when it comes to any major health problem, pain can be the first warning sign. If you’re dealing with pelvic pain that is new or that seems concerning (you know your body), go to the doctor. Large fibroids can cause pressure in the lower abdomen, and the pain can range from anywhere between dull pressure and sharp, stabbing pain.
3. You have a lot of lower back pain.
Again, be on the lookout for pain. If you feel like your lower back is constantly aching and you can’t think of another reason why (like you don’t go running for miles, lift weights, or sit in a chair at work all day), you might want to head to your doctor’s office. Fibroids can press against the muscles and nerves of your lower back and cause some major discomfort. However, many factors throughout your day can cause back pain, like sleeping “wrong,” or lifting something heavy, so try not to worry too much unless you have another symptom.
4. Sex is painful for you.
Sex shouldn’t be painful, and it might not be present throughout the entire time you’re gettin’ it on, but if you notice being in a particular position cause discomfort, it could be because of a fibroid and the location it is at. Even if you don’t feel like you have a fibroid but notice pain during intercourse, something might seriously be off, and the University of California San Francisco Medical Center states, “Discomfort during intercourse is a significant issue.”
5. You seem to be having some bladder problems.
If you feel like you have to pee all the time, or have a hard time peeing despite feeling like your bladder is full, it might be because you have fibroids. Sometimes fibroids press against a woman’s bladder and can either minimize the amount of fluid she can have in her bladder, or blocks the outflow of urine. If this is happening to you, head to your doctor’s office.
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