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Uterine fibroid pain is pain associated with uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or myomas. Fibroids are benign tumors comprised of the uterine muscle and connective tissue in the uterus. Up to 80% of women have fibroids, however, only a small percentage will have symptoms. Women who have a family history or are pre-menopause have a greater risk of having symptoms.
Uterine fibroids refer to the overgrowth of muscle cells within the uterine wall. These tumors, which are noncancerous, may result in heavy, painful, or irregular periods and local pressure symptoms such as difficult defecation, frequent urination, and pain in the lower back. Estrogen predominance is usually a common cause and risk factor for uterine fibroid pain.
The pelvic region encompasses many individual areas so our patients site pain in specific regions. Besides being called pelvic pain, it can be experienced in the hips, tailbone, stomach, and others.
This can be described as simply pain, or discomfort, or aching. Our goal is to help you find relief from that pain and discomfort. If the fibroids haven’t been addressed specifically we can help by bringing in other specialists if more invasive treatment is needed.
We make it known to our patients that you can manage your fibroid pain and get on a path to finding relief.
The exact causes of uterine fibroids are unknown, but some contributing factors are genetics and hormonal stimulation, such as progesterone and estrogen.
Symptoms associated with uterine fibroids include excessive menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) which can often cause anemia, infertility, and pelvic pressure or pain. In addition, patients may experience painful intercourse, low back pain, and frequent urination.
Uterine fibroids can cause pain from pressure on surrounding structures such as the bladder and nerves or from secondary pelvic floor muscle spasm and guarding.
Risk factors that can contribute to the development of fibroids are African-American race and hereditary factors. African-american females tend to have a higher likelihood of having uterine fibroids and are often more symptomatic, with development at an earlier age and having larger-sized fibroids. Also, fibroids tend to be hereditary, so if a mother or sister has fibroids, her daughter or sister will also be at an increased risk of having fibroids. Lifestyle factors, such as obesity, alcohol and high red-meat diet also may contribute to development of fibroids.
If fibroids are large enough, often times they can be diagnosed with a pelvic examination. If suspected, confirmation will usually be made with an ultrasound of the uterus.
In certain cases fibroids can shrink on their own, but this generally happens after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production. This can also occur after pregnancy secondary to a decrease in hormone stimulation.
Treatment for fibroids includes medication, surgery (including hysterectomy or myomectomy), and embolization methods. Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction and chronic pelvic pain syndrome can be triggered by uterine fibroids and contribute to fibroid symptoms. Our unique approach to helping treat the pelvic floor muscles and nerves and reduce the pain associated with uterine fibroid pain may be of benefit particularly if fibroids are small and you are looking to try a non-surgical approach first.
With the varying levels of pain, a uterine fibroid can cause this brings a large amount of undue stress and tension to the region. Fibroids are often left untreated so patients are suffering from undiagnosed pain. This uncertainty of the pain brings additional pain and stress. Throughout this time and potential surgery, the body is trying to compensate for all this pain which can bring on other muscular-skeletal conditions like chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Whether you have uterine fibroids, already had surgery to remove them or just suffering from undiagnosed pain we are able to help set you on a path to long-term recovery.
There is little evidence regarding preventative measure of developing fibroids. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and using hormonal contraceptives may be associated with a lower risk of fibroids.
Fibroids can cause a disruption to quality of life, particularly if they are large enough to cause pelvic discomfort. Often times, fibroids are the cause of heavy bleeding. This can cause anemia from excessive bleeding and if severe enough, women may require a blood transfusion. If fibroids become large enough and are in a certain location, they can sometimes press on the bladder, causing urinary urgency or frequency. In some cases, if the fibroid is located inside the uterine cavity, it can lead to difficulty in getting pregnant and/or recurrent miscarriages.