Read all about fibroid pain here and find out how to treat fibroid symptoms. Uterine fibroids are usually painless and do not normally cause symptoms, but this is not much consolation if your fibroids are painful. A fibroid is only painful for a reason. If one grows large enough then it can produce pelvic discomfort simply because of its size. A large fibroid will stretch uterine ligaments and press on other pelvic organs within the pelvis. Bodily movements and even simply walking around may cause a fibroid to produce pelvic pain if it is above a certain size.
At the time of menstruation a fibroid may cause normal period pain to worsen (this menstrual pain is known medically as dysmenorrhoea). This happens because a fibroid can distort the muscle of the uterus during a menstrual cramp and cause pain. A submucosal fibroid can cause a period to be heavier and make menstruation more unpleasant and painful. A myoma can produce low back (lumbar) pain. This occurs if the myomata press on the nerves, ligaments or muscles of the spine. A large leiomyoma which is present at the back (posterior aspect) of the uterus is much more likely to produce back pain than a fibroid that is small and confined to the wall of the uterus. Lumbar pain is very common, and other reasons for the discomfort should be investigated before putting it down to myomata.
Other sites for pain from a fibroid include: the hip, groin, pelvis, lower abdomen, thigh, ribcage (aching ribs) and flank. A large fibroid may press on the rectum and produce symptoms. These include: constipation, difficulty having a bowel movement, pain on opening the bowels or a sensation of rectal fullness. These symptoms are much more likely to be due to a problem with the bowel and should be investigated appropriately. A leiomyoma may press on the urinary bladder and in this way produce frequency of micturition (the need to pass urine very often) or urgency to pass urine. A fibroid may press on and even decrease the capacity of the bladder. If a myoma grows large enough it may impinge on the colon (large bowel) and cause pain or constipation.
A woman who has a large myoma may suffer pelvic discomfort. She will often describe this as an unpleasant heaviness or pressure sensation within the lower abdomen or pelvic region. She will often describe the feeling as a vague discomfort and not a sharp stab. A uterus that has grown large can make exercising or bending over uncomfortable. It can also make it unpleasant or difficult for a woman to lie on in a prone position on her stomach.
A fairly rare symptom is acute, extreme pain. If a fibroid undergoes what is known as red (or carneous) degeneration this may cause severe pain. With red degeneration the pain is felt in one spot in the lower abdomen and generally resolves over 2 to 4 weeks. The treatment is conservative with painkillers and rest.
Extremely rarely a fibroid may rotate on its stalk. This stops blood flowing to the fibroid and is called torsion. The result is extremely severe sudden lower abdominal pain. This is a gynaecological emergency and surgical treatment is necessary.