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Uterine fibroids – Causes, Symptoms

The abnormal growths that occur in a women’s uterus are known as fibroids. Though the exact cause for the growth of a fibroid is unknown, the main factors are considered to be the family history of the patient and their hormones. It is also believed that about 80 percent of women experience this condition before they are fifty years old.

Uterine fibroids refer to the lumps (benign) that develop on a women’s uterus due to the growth of cells on the wall of the uterus. Once a fibroid develops on the wall of the uterus, the hormones such as estrogen and progesterone impact its growth. Since these hormones are produced the maximum during a woman’s childbearing years, uterine fibroids exist till a woman reaches menopause after which the fibroids diminish.


The symptoms of uterine fibroids can occur in either of the two ways. In some women, it can develop over the years and in other it can develop over a period of few months. The nature of symptoms can also be different. Some patients require immediate treatment for it and others do not require any kind of treatment as the symptoms are mild.

The most commonly occurring symptoms and problems of uterine fibroids are:

When a woman is on her periods, if she experiences weariness or feels tired all the time, this could be due to heavier, prolonged period that is caused by uterine fibroids. Experiencing painful periods or bleeding periods are also signs of abnormal menstrual bleeding.

  • Urinary complications
If you’re experiencing leakage of urine or urinary incontinence, there are chances that it is caused by uterine fibroids. Frequent urination is also one of the symptoms of this condition. Although it occurs rarely, a block in the ureter can lead to blockage of the kidney due to which the kidney cannot carry out its functions.

  • Pelvic ache
Experiencing pain in the lower back, pelvis or the abdomen and feeling bloated are also possible symptoms of uterine fibroids.

There are few other symptoms such as difficulty in bowel movements, infertility, and pregnancy problems that can be caused due to uterine fibroids. At times, it is difficult to get pregnant due to the growth of fibroids. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms frequently, consult your doctor and receive the necessary medication. Your doctor will find out if you have uterine fibroids or not during your annual pap smear test or with his or her hands during a regular pelvic exam.

What is a Pap smear test?

A Pap test or Papanicolaou test is one of the methods that is used to determine any cancerous or non-cancerous growth in the cervix. If there is any abnormal growth or findings reported in this test, future procedures are carried out to cure the problem. Doctors recommend that you should get test done once in three years from the age of 21 till the age of 65. A Pap test can also detect any changes in the cervical cells that can lead to cancer at a later stage.
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