Do I Have Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop in the uterus. “Fibroids are common,” explains Jon Sullivan MD, of TriHealth Women’s Services Northeast. “Depending on your race, up to 30 to 40 percent of women, by the time they’re 40 or 50 years old, have fibroids.”
Usually uterine fibroids are harmless, but they can vary significantly in size. Some are as small as the size of your finger tip, while others are as large as a 30-week pregnancy. "The big ones, people come in and complain about," Dr. Sullivan adds. "They feel significant pelvic pressure. They feel like they have frequent urination or constipation."
Other symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Bleeding between periods
- Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), sometimes with the passage of blood clots
- Menstrual periods that may last longer than normal
- Pelvic cramping or pain with periods
- Pain during intercourse
I Think I Have a Uterine Fibroid: What Should I Do Next?
If you have these symptoms, your doctor will schedule an ultrasound. From there, “we’ll review the ultrasound and go through some other diagnostic procedures and determine that, yes, you have a fibroid,” Dr. Sullivan explains.
Depending on a variety of factors, including your age, symptom severity and whether you want children in the future, your doctor will recommend the best treatment option for you.
Last Updated: November 18, 2013