If you are a woman reading this, the odds are that you have or have had uterine fibroids but didn’t even know it. These benign growths of muscle and connective tissue of the uterus are a common occurrence, affecting 60-80 percent of women. Also, they generally do not cause any symptoms.
There are times, however, that their presence causes problems, including painful sex.
Why uterine fibroids are unique
Depending upon where they form, their size and number, they can cause a variety of symptoms. Discomfort during intercourse is one possible symptom, while heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding and muscle cramping resulting from fibroids also can interfere with your sex life.
Difficulty urinating, constipation, anemia and craving for ice are other potential signs. Fibroids also can make a woman look pregnant and give a feeling of a mass in her abdomen. At their worst, they can cause infertility, miscarriage or premature delivery.
Imagining why uterine fibroids can become troublesome (and why treatment can vary) is easier when you consider this: Your uterus is about the size of a lemon, while a fibroid can become the size of an apple, grapefruit, cantaloupe — or even a watermelon.
Also, each fibroid is unique. Its features are as individual as your thumbprint or a snowflake.
To determine treatment options for fibroids, it’s important to have imaging of the uterus performed with either transvaginal ultrasound or even an MRI of the pelvis. Understanding the specific characteristics of your fibroid(s) is critical to understanding the best treatment options.
Read more at the Cleveland Clinic website.