Can Fibroids Cause Pain?
Uterine fibroids affect 20-40% of women by the time they are in their 40s; African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids, and the tumors can set in earlier in life.
Whether a fibroid is painful depends on the location, size, and the number of fibroids (there may be more than one); pain intensity can also vary.
Here are some reasons why women with fibroids may experience pain:
- Sometimes fibroid tissue breaks down (myoma begins to die). As the fibroid degenerates, it can cause pelvic pain.
- Fibroids are attached to the uterine cavity by a stalk. If stalks twist and fibroids’ blood supply is damaged, it can cause pain.
- If fibroids are outside the uterus, they can press on the bladder, rectum or spinal nerves; it can cause pain (including back pain).
- Fibroids inside your uterine walls can change the shape of your uterus causing pressure and pain.
If You Are Suffering from Fibroid Pain
Often women suffering from uterine fibroids have pain during sex.
Fibroids are not a contraindication for sexual activity. The statement that blood rushes to the uterus during intercourse and this accelerates the growth of nodes is a myth. If a woman experiences pain during sex, changing the angle of penetration can help.
The most important advice on how to get rid of pain with fibroids (not counting the treatment of the disease, which is most important) is to lead a healthy lifestyle!
– Proper nutrition and low-estrogen diet. Fibroids are a hormone-dependent tumor, and a decrease in the level of estrogen can help reduce the intensity of the development of the disease and unpleasant symptoms. To do this, you need a special fibroid diet, which will give a positive effect in the first weeks.
– Regular exercise (without weighting). Yoga and fast walking will help keep the pelvic muscles in a moderate tone, which positively affects fibroids.
– Weight loss. With large weight, a lot of estrogen is produced, this contributes to the growth of fibroids and severe fibroid pain. Try to avoid overeating and overweight if you have fibroids. This will help control the development of the disease.
– Use relaxation techniques. To relieve fibroid pain, you need to lie down and relax. Put a pillow under your knees if you are lying on your back – this will reduce the load on your back and relax your pelvic muscles. Other techniques include deep breathing and a warm bath.
If you are suffering from fibroid pain, your doctor may suggest anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. If you do not find relief, hormone therapy (like birth control pills, IUD, etc.) may help.
But none of these methods eliminate fibroids, they only address the symptoms.
Other treatment options include UFE (uterine fibroid embolization) or surgery (a myomectomy or a hysterectomy).
Choosing the best way for you to treat fibroids is not easy.
A lot depends on your individual circumstances and needs. You want to have accurate information about your options to make the right choice. That’s why it’s important to speak to both, your OB/GYN AND an experienced interventional radiologist like Dr. Lipman, to understand what will work for you.
However, in most cases, the most effective treatment option is UFE. Almost every woman with uterine fibroids is a candidate for the procedure, even if she was told by a gynecologist that she needs a hysterectomy. Before agreeing to surgery, she needs to be consulted about the UFE.
Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive, highly effective treatment for uterine fibroids.
Advantages of the method:
– Lack of surgical intervention and a short recovery period (up to 7 days);
– The greatest efficiency;
– There are practically no contraindications and complications;
– The method is effective for all types and sizes of fibroid tumor;
– The lowest recurrence rate of fibroids (of the modern methods used).
– The ability to become pregnant already 3-6 months after the procedure.