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Ask Dr. John Lipman: “Can Fibroids Cause Constipation?”

Ask Dr. John Lipman: “Can Fibroids Cause Constipation?”

I have a lot of difficulty moving my bowels. I’ve undergone an extensive workup with a GI doctor (including colonoscopy, barium enema, and abdominal x-rays). I also have big fibroids and I am wondering if that is the cause? Can fibroids cause constipation?

Chronic constipation can be caused by large fibroids in the back of the uterus or an enlarged retroverted (i.e. tilted toward the back) uterus filled by fibroids. Fibroids are very hard and firm tumors. They press on whatever is next to them. For fibroids located in the back of the uterus, they will often press on the adjacent colon. This can lead to difficulty moving your bowels or painful bowel movements or both.

When fibroids cause constipation, this often goes undiagnosed as many physicians fail to make the connection between the enlarged fibroid-filled uterus and constipation. Typically following the GI workup, patients are instructed to drink more fluids and increase their fiber content. While this may help some, the majority of patients will not find any improvement in this routine. The fibroids are mechanically compressing the colon from the outside.

The remedy to the situation is to eliminate the culprit which are obviously the fibroids. Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is an outstanding, safe, and minimally invasive outpatient procedure that treats the problem without any surgery. Chronic constipation is one of the multiple bulk-related symptoms that fibroids can cause. Others include abdominal/pelvic pain and pressure, bloating, lower back pain and sciatica, increased urinary frequency, waking at night to urinate, urinary leaking, painful sex (dyspareunia).

If you have fibroids and chronic constipation you need to know your options. UFE may be the answer for you. To make an appointment with one of the nation’s leading fibroid experts, Dr. John Lipman, please call 770-953-2600 today or online at ATLii.com.