How do Fibroids Affect Menstruation?

How do Fibroids Affect Menstruation?

Are you frequently swapping out your tampons or pads, or are your periods lasting far longer than they used to, or are you experiencing both of these issues? This type of abnormal bleeding can be caused by a number of reproductive issues, including uterine fibroids.

While our name — Advanced Endometriosis Center — may suggest that we only treat endometriosis, Ulas Bozdogan, MD, and our team are also specialists in fibroids. In fact, we offer the most advanced treatments available to help patients overcome the symptoms that sometimes accompany problematic fibroids, including abnormal bleeding.

Here, we take a closer look at the link between uterine fibroids and your menstruation.

Fibroids are more common than you might think

Uterine fibroids are mostly benign (noncancerous) muscular tumors that grow in the walls of the uterus. It’s estimated that 20-80% of women in the United States develop fibroids by the time they reach age 50.

The reason for the incredibly wide range in prevalence is that, in many cases, you may not be aware of the fibroids, which are most common among women in their 40s and early 50s. Fibroids can develop without incident and then disappear after you pass through menopause, and you might be none the wiser.

If, however, your fibroids become numerous or large enough, they might cause symptoms, such as abnormal bleeding, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Fibroids and menstruation

Problematic uterine fibroids can lead to a host of symptoms that range from pressure on your bladder and bowel to painful sex, but most women first notice the problem because of abnormal bleeding.

We use the term “abnormal bleeding” to encompass three main characteristics:

  1. Heavy bleeding, which means you soak through tampons or pads within hours
  2. Prolonged bleeding, which is bleeding for more than eight days
  3. Bleeding between periods

While there’s no one trigger for these menstrual issues, fibroids can interact with your uterus in a way that causes them to develop. For example, your fibroids may place more pressure on your uterus, which could lead to heavier bleeding.

In addition, fibroids might encourage more blood vessel growth, which could lead to heavy bleeding as well as spotting in between periods.

The presence of fibroids in your uterus might also prevent it from contracting after your period, which could prolong your bleeding.

Rounding out the list of potential influences your fibroids might have on your periods is that uterine fibroids can elevate certain hormones, namely prostaglandins, which can contribute to heavy bleeding.

Restoring your menstrual cycles

If you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding, it’s very important that you see us so we can properly diagnose the source. If we find that uterine fibroids are causing the problem, we can turn to several treatment options, including:

Deciding which approach is right for you is only something we can figure out together after we assess the extent of the problem and your goals.

To find out whether uterine fibroids are behind your abnormal bleeding and to get treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today.

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