Uterine fibroids can cause some very unpleasant symptoms, such as prolonged or abnormally heavy bleeding during menstruation, pelvic pressure & pain, abdominal bloating, pain during sex, etc. There are also indirect symptoms that can result from the presence of fibroids that are not as common, such as back & leg pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Constipation can lead to the formation of hemorrhoids.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Swollen veins located in the anus and lower rectum are called hemorrhoids. Approximately 1 out of 20 individuals in the United States are affected by hemorrhoids, and they tend to be more prevalent in people over the age of 50. Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum, and external hemorrhoids normally develop around the anus under the skin.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can be caused by standing or sitting for long intervals, straining during bowel movements from constipation, straining to lift something heavy or weightlifting, tumors or growths that put pressure on the bowels, and often develop during pregnancy due to increased pressure put on these veins.
Any type of straining like sneezing, vomiting or coughing can often make them worse. Individuals who are overweight or eat low fiber diets are at increased risk for hemorrhoids.
Can Hemorrhoids Be Caused By Uterine Fibroids?
Depending on the size of the fibroid and its location, it is possible for a large fibroid to indirectly cause hemorrhoids. The uterus, bladder, intestinal tract, and bowels are all in close proximity to each other in the abdominal cavity, and large or numerous fibroids can crowd and put pressure on any of them.
A large fibroid pushing far enough into the bowel and rectum area to cause constipation can lead to difficulty and straining while using the bathroom resulting in hemorrhoids. It may also lead to back pain and pain shooting down the legs.
Can Bleeding During a Bowel Movement Be Caused by Fibroids?
As mentioned above, uterine fibroids can indirectly cause hemorrhoids by causing an individual to be chronically constipated. The fibroids would not cause the bleeding directly. External hemorrhoids can be painful or itchy, and internal hemorrhoids that are inflamed can bleed during straining or periods of increased pressure. Hemorrhoids are the most common cause of rectal bleeding and are not typically serious but if they persist or are accompanied by other symptoms, you should seek medical evaluation.
Treatment For Fibroids and Hemorrhoids
For the occasional hemorrhoid flare-ups, several over-the-counter creams can bring fast relief. Also, a soak in a nice warm bath can help relieve the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are rarely a serious cause for concern and most often can be treated at home, without a doctor.
Sometimes hemorrhoids can contain blood clots that cause painful swelling and can become ulcerated. Most people are not comfortable with talking to anyone or even calling their doctor to discuss issues with their bottoms but in some cases, it may be necessary. If you have other symptoms, such as:
- Bleeding from the rectum that will not stop;
- Severe pain;
- Chronic hemorrhoids that won’t go away despite the use of over-the-counter creams, etc.;
- Stool that is red-brown or maroon in color;
- Feeling dizzy or weak;
- Severe constipation;
- You should contact your doctor immediately as there may be a serious underlying issue.
Uterine fibroids can only truly be treated by eliminating them. Some mild fibroid symptoms can be managed through over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers but more severe and progressive fibroid symptoms would require some sort of medical intervention.
There are surgical procedures to remove fibroids, such as myomectomy and hysterectomy, as well as a non-surgical option called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
Treating Fibroids and Hemorrhoids without Surgery
Fibroids, constipation, and the resulting hemorrhoids are not pleasant to deal with and can interfere with your quality of life. Experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure, painful bowel movements brought about by fibroids can be an endless cycle of discomfort. Even if the hemorrhoids go away on their own, more than likely they would return intermittently until the root problem, the fibroids, were dealt with.
Video: UFE As An Alternative To Fibroid Surgery
Neither fibroids, nor hemorrhoids are normally life-threatening issues, but the symptoms associated with them can be quite debilitating. You need and deserve relief but do you want to go through a surgery? If you are like most women who face this issue, it would probably not be your first choice.
Thankfully, there is a procedure called uterine fibroid embolization or UFE that can eliminate fibroids and the painful symptoms they cause, including hemorrhoids.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization to Treat Fibroids
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) works by blocking blood supply and nutrients from getting to the fibroid tumors, so over time, they shrink in size and eventually die off. The UFE procedure is an outpatient procedure and only takes about 45 minutes in the hands of an experienced Interventional Radiologist like Dr. John Lipman of the Atlanta Fibroid Center.
Dr. Lipman is an expert in UFE and has over 25 years of experience. UFE works on any number and size of fibroids. The typical recovery time for UFE is 5 – 7 days, and it preserves your uterus. The painful symptoms caused by fibroids will begin dissipating as the fibroids shrink, and will also relieve the pressure previously put on the bowels and rectum eliminating any future fibroid-related hemorrhoids.
If you are looking for relief from fibroid symptoms and fibroid-related hemorrhoids, it is time to rid yourself of this pain in the butt (literally)! Contact Atlanta Fibroid Center to learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization and how we can help you.