Fibroids are benign growths that can develop within the uterus of a woman. While some women with fibroids may experience no symptoms, others may experience a myriad of symptoms that, surprisingly, can include sharp shooting pain in the groin area, depending on the size, type, and location of the fibroids.
The pain associated with fibroids usually occurs when the fibroids put pressure on nearby organs, nerves, or blood vessels. This pressure can cause pain in the lower back, pelvis, or legs. Women may also experience pain during intercourse, heavy menstrual bleeding, difficulty emptying their bladder, or constipation.
Since shooting pain in the groin is unusual for a female, we are going to take a closer look at this lesser-known symptom that can be a result of fibroids.
What Conditions Can Cause Shooting Pain In The Groin In A Female?
Pelvic pain or shooting pains in the groin area in females could be caused by a variety of conditions. Some possible causes of this type of pain include:
- Ovarian Cyst
- An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on the ovary. These cysts can sometimes rupture, causing sharp, shooting pain on one side of the lower abdomen or groin area.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- UTIs are common in females and can cause burning or shooting pain in the groin area.
- Inguinal Hernia
- An inguinal hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine protrudes through a weakened spot in the abdominal muscles. This can cause sharp or shooting pains in the groin area.
- Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it. This can cause shooting pain in the pelvic area, including the groin.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- PID is an infection of the reproductive organs that can cause pain in the pelvic or groin areas.
- Kidney Stones
- A strong, shooting pain in the left groin area of a female could be the result of a kidney stone in the left kidney.
- Uterine Fibroids
- Although somewhat rare, certain types of fibroids (pedunculated) can cause sharp shooting pains in the groin area of a female when they become twisted.
What Types Of Fibroids Cause Symptoms?
Fibroids are classified by their location, shape, and size. Usually, the severity of the symptoms is directly linked to the size, number, and location of the uterine fibroids. The different types of uterine fibroid classification include:
- Submucosal fibroids, which grow in the inner lining of the uterus, are more likely to cause heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding as well as pain and pressure in the pelvic area. These fibroids can also cause infertility and miscarriage by interfering with the implantation of the fertilized egg.
- Intramural fibroids, which grow within the muscular wall of the uterus, can cause heavy and painful periods, as well as pain and pressure in the pelvic area. If they grow large enough, they can also cause discomfort or pain during sex.
- Subserosal fibroids, which grow on the outer surface of the uterus, may not cause any symptoms at all if they are small. However, larger subserosal fibroids can cause pain and pressure in the pelvic area, as well as back pain and frequent urination.
- Pedunculated fibroids, which are attached to the uterus by a stalk, can twist and cause pain and pressure in the pelvic area. In some cases, a pedunculated fibroid may become detached from the uterus and move into the abdominal cavity, causing severe pain.
More About Pedunculated Fibroids
Pedunculated fibroids are fibroids that grow on a stalk, or stem-like structure, which attaches the fibroid to the uterus. These types of fibroids can grow inside the uterus, on the outside of the uterus, or hang within the cavity of the uterus. They can range in size from small to very large, with some growing up to the size of a grapefruit.
When a pedunculated fibroid grows, it can cause pain and discomfort as it puts pressure on the surrounding organs and tissues. Depending on the location of the fibroid, it can cause different types of pain. If the fibroid is inside the uterus, it can cause sharp, shooting pains during menstrual periods. If the fibroid is outside of the uterus, it can cause sharp, shooting pains in the groin, the lower abdomen, the hips, and the back.
The pain caused by a pedunculated fibroid can also be described as stabbing or cramping, which can last for a few minutes or a few hours. Women with pedunculated fibroids may also experience pain during intercourse, urination, and bowel movements.
When a pedunculated fibroid becomes twisted, it is called torsion and rarely happens. One Gynecology and Obstetrics Case Report described a 34-year-old woman who presented to the emergency department complaining of a sudden, intense shooting pain in her pelvic area accompanied by nausea. She had no chronic medical history and had never undergone surgery. She had been diagnosed years before with a non-symptomatic uterine fibroid.
This woman was aware that she had fibroids and had not had issues with them until this sudden occurrence-turned-emergency situation. Sudden, intense pelvic pain and shooting pain in the groin in a female should be quickly investigated to determine if immediate medical intervention is required.
Another condition called degeneration can occur when the fibroid outgrows its blood supply, causing the cells of the fibroid to die off and release inflammatory substances that cause pain and discomfort.
What To Do If You Feel Shooting Pains In Your Groin
If you are experiencing shooting pains in the groin, are female, and have been diagnosed with fibroids, seek medical attention right away. You may be experiencing torsion of an ovary, torsion of a pedunculated fibroid, or another cause that may require immediate intervention.
If you do not know if you have fibroids, it is best to call your doctor and get checked out to identify the source of the pain. It may be a strain, an ovarian cyst, or several other medical conditions that require attention. Your healthcare provider can perform an ultrasound or MRI to diagnose the condition and determine the best treatment options.
What Treatment Options Are Available For Shooting Pains Caused By Fibroids?
Treatment options offered by your OB-GYN for fibroids may include medications to manage pain and temporarily shrink the fibroids or surgery (myomectomy) to remove the fibroids or the entire uterus (hysterectomy).
The best treatment option to address fibroid symptoms is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This outpatient procedure takes less than an hour to perform and can treat every type, size, and number of fibroids that are present.
Why undergo invasive surgery and endure a hospital stay and a long, painful recovery when you can have a quick, non-surgical procedure and go home with just a bandaid? After UFE, most patients rest a few days and return to their normal routines with renewed energy, and by their first menstrual cycle, they notice a significant reduction in their symptoms. The majority of UFE patients have no fibroid symptoms three months after having their UFE procedure.