What problems do fibroids cause?

Fibroids cause three main types of symptoms:

  1. Heavy and/or painful periods. Fibroids are a common cause of very heavy periods and/or very painful periods. The submucosal variety of fibroids are most commonly associated with period problems due to their proximity to the lining of the womb where bleeding originates. Excessively heavy periods for many months can lead to a low blood count (or anaemia).
  2. Submucosal fibroids are strongly linked with an increased risk of miscarriage. It is believed that submucosal fibroids disrupt the inner lining of the womb where the embryo needs to implant, thereby predisposing to pregnancy loss.
  3. Problems due to an enlarged womb: If fibroids grow to a large size, or there are multiple fibroids present, the womb can become very enlarged. In some cases of fibroids, the womb can reach the size of an advanced pregnancy and extend above the level of the belly-button. The enlarged womb causes “pressure-effects” leading to a feeling of “heaviness” in the abdomen. It can also press on neighbouring structures such as the bladder, causing changes in urination such as the need to pass urine frequently.