7 Warning Signs of Fibroids

Although fibroids aren’t necessarily dangerous, it’s a good idea to go to the gynecologist if you have any of these symptoms to get a detailed examination.
7 Warning Signs of Fibroids
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Although fibroids are usually benign, if they grow fast, they should be monitored by a gynecologist. There are some warning signs of fibroids which can indicate something might be wrong.

Fibroids are growths that develop inside the uterus, although they can also exist outside of it. Learn more about them below.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids develop when cells inside the uterus begin to grow uncontrollably, eventually forming a solid mass. They can be so small that you can’t even see them with the naked eye, and they may not cause any discomfort.

The problem arises when they grow large enough to press against the uterus or even the rib cage. This causes discomfort that increases as time goes by.

The warning signs of fibroids usually appear when the following has occurred:

  • Several fibroids have already developed
  • They’re located in very sensitive areas

Therefore, the larger they are, the more intense your symptoms will be.

Here are some warning signs of fibroids that you should pay attention to:

1. Problems with your bladder

7 Warning Signs of Fibroids

The first warning sign of fibroids may not always be associated with this problem.

When fibroids appear on the outer wall of the uterus near your bladder, however, it can press on this organ and cause a loss of volume for urine.

The most common symptom will be a desire to urinate more frequently than normal. Fibroids can even prevent urination, even when the bladder is full, which is both uncomfortable and dangerous.

If you notice that you’re going to the bathroom more frequently than normal, but you don’t feel like you’ve emptied your bladder, you should have a checkup.

2. Pressure on the rectum

Just like fibroids can press against your bladder, this can also happen to the rectum. In this instance, the pressure will cause you to feel like you have a full stomach.

It will also make bowel movements difficult and is likely to cause hemorrhoids to develop.

Although other conditions can cause similar symptoms, it’s always a good idea to visit your gynecologist if you have a family history of fibroids.

3. Pelvic discomfort or pain

7 Warning Signs of Fibroids

It’s very common for larger fibroids to cause feelings of discomfort and pain in the pelvic region.

For some women, this is very noticeable and uncomfortable, particularly when they bend over or lie down.

In others, however, the symptoms are more like feelings of heaviness or fullness. 

A few women may experience acute and severe pain in the pelvic region. This occurs because the fibroid breaks down, which can take between two weeks to a month.

In addition, the fibroid components can infect your bloodstream and surrounding tissues, causing a fever.

4. Back pain

Pain in the lower back is another one of the warning signs of fibroids. When the fibroid is located on the outer wall of the uterus, it can press against the nerves of the spine or back muscles.

This can cause severe back pain that will limit your daily activities. Also, because of its location, back pain can appear alongside other symptoms mentioned above.

5. Pain during intercourse

This symptom may appear in some women and will depend on the size and location of the fibroid.

You might experience discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse that intensifies in certain positions or times of the month.

The important thing to remember is to maintain good communication with your partner so they know they aren’t the cause of the problem.

6. Heavy menstrual bleeding

One of the best-known warning signs of fibroids is heavy menstrual bleeding. This can cause a significant amount of discomfort because the flow will be severe in a very short amount of time.

The problem is that these episodes, in addition to being frightening, are also painful. They can cause deep cramping or pain that is hard to eliminate.

If your menstrual flow suddenly increases in quantity or is accompanied by severe pain, see your doctor immediately.

This is because women who have heavy periods are more prone to develop anemia, which can make them feel tired, weak, and have headaches.

7. Long periods or spotting between them

Not only can fibroids interfere with the abundance of menstrual flow, but also with the timing.

They can lead to periods that last longer than seven days, or spotting between periods. This could also be accompanied by cramps and severe pain.

All of the above symptoms are potential warning signs of fibroids that should be paid attention to.

Ideally, you should visit your gynecologist once a year. If you’re having any of these symptoms, however, see your doctor sooner.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.