I’ve looked at several web pages to compare symptom information. I feel the most comprehensive list is found at the site of the Society of Interventional Radiology. I’ll itemize them here and talk briefly about the ones that bothered the heck out of me.
- Heavy, prolonged menstrual periods and unusual monthly bleeding, sometimes clots. This often leads to anemia.
- Pelvic pain
- Pelvic pressure or heaviness caused by the bulk or weight of the fibroids pressing on nearby structures
- Pain in the back or legs as the fibroids press on nerves that supply the pelvis and legs
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bladder pressure leading to a constant urge to urinate
- Pressure on the bowel, leading to constipation and bloating
- Abnormally enlarged abdomen
Symptoms of my fibroids:
- Heavy bleeding. My clots were so huge they could star in their own late-night monster movie.
- Pelvic pain. It was torture every time my uterus was forced to expel one of the large clots. To relieve the pain, I would munch enough Motrin to fill a PEZ dispenser.
- Pelvic pressure and heaviness. I always felt bulky and full.
- Back pain. I could never quite get into a comfortable position.
- Bladder pressure/frequent urination. In the bathroom just about every hour during the night.
- Abnormally enlarged abdomen. Someone actually thought I was pregnant and congratulated me! (Although not funny at the time, I’m chuckling now.)
Wow, that looks pretty bad written out. It’s amazing that this was not enough to get me into a doctor’s office to take care of the fibroids once and for all. The thing that caused me to crawl in for help is the topic of my next post.
Note: I noticed on the SIR site that only 10 – 20% of women with fibroids ever require treatment. Well, I guess that just makes us special.
[Added September 17, 2006] Deep vein thrombosis is a rare complication resulting from uterine fibroid tumors. For more information, please see this deep vein thrombosis post.