11 Side Effects of Fibroids: Raising Concerns

Amisha Jain
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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side effects of fibroids

Uterine Leiommyomata, also called fibroids, are extremely common benign, non-cancerous tumors in women of reproductive age.

Fibroids have several side effects that can impact a woman’s life, such as menstrual irregularity and intense pain.

Further, without early treatment, these side effects may also lead to severe complications, such as infertility.

Thus it is necessary to diagnose fibroids early and seek proper treatment for a faster recovery.

This comprehensive article elaborates on the 11 side effects of fibroids and their associated complications to help women seek early treatment and ensure a better quality of life.

What are the side effects of fibroids

Fibroids can cause the following side effects in women:

Intense pain

stomach crampsSource: Africa_Images
Stomach cramps

Large-sized fibroids can cause intense pelvic and abdomen Fibroids pain.

These painful symptoms are more prevalent in women with obesity or Type 2 Diabetes.

Excess adipose tissue (body fat) in obese women can increase Estrogen formation and lead to the development of fibroids.

Heavy menstrual bleeding

Fibroid periods can cause Menorrhagia or menstrual bleeding heavier than normal and continue for a long time.

More than 30% of women with fibroids experience Menorrhagia.

Further, some women may also experience irregular periods with fibroids.

Aldo read: To learn more about different types of bleeding in fibroids, read “Fibroids Bleeding: Raising Concerns and Managing Tips.

Pain during sex

Fibroids can cause painful sexual experiences, also called Dyspareunia.

It occurs due to the size and location of the fibroids. The larger fibroids are known to pressure the surrounding organs and elevate pain.

Constipation and urinary problems

The pressure due to large-sized fibroids can lead to constipation and urinary problems, such as frequent urination.

In some rare cases, fibroids can also press ureters, leading to kidney dysfunction.

Mood swings

Though psychological side effects may look unrelated, fibroids can cause mood swings in women.

As per the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the rates of Depression, Anxiety, and self-directed violence are higher in women with uterine fibroids.

These symptoms are more prevalent in women who experience painful symptoms or undergo hysterectomy.

Warning:
Myomectomy may cause fertility complications. Seeking a complete medical diagnosis and treatment is necessary. Consult a healthcare practitioner and avoid the risks of infertility.

Complications of fibroids

Fibroids can lead to the following severe complications:

Anemia

AnemiaSource: Pixedlimage
Anemia written on a blackboard

Life-threatening Anemia is one of the side effects of fibroids.

Fibroids increase the cases of severe Iron deficiency Anemia. However, only one case has been reported (until 2022) where fibroids reduced Haemoglobin levels to less than 2 g/dl.

Did you know?
There are three types of fibroids depending on the location:
Subserosal fibroids: Outside the uterus
Intramural fibroids: Inside the myometrium
Submucosal fibroids: Inside the uterine cavity

Repeated miscarriage

Uterine fibroids can affect pregnancy, as nearly 10% to 30% of women with fibroids experience pregnancy complications.

As per the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the cases of spontaneous miscarriages are comparatively higher in pregnant women with fibroids (14%) than without them (7.6%).

Furthermore, the presence of multiple fibroids increases the miscarriage rate compared to single fibroids.

Recommended Article
To learn more about the effect of fibroids on pregnancy, read “ Fibroids and Pregnancy: Balancing Maternal Health and Fetal Well-being.”

Infertility

There are a few hypotheses on the fibroids’ mechanism and its role in reducing fertility, as follows:

  • Sexual dysfunction: Fibroids can cause Dyspareunia, prolonged menstrual bleeding, and pelvic pain in women, affecting intercourse frequency. Therefore, reducing the frequency of sexual intercourse and chances of pregnancy
  • Disturbed oocyte and sperm transport: The pressure on the walls of fallopian tubes by fibroids or deformation of the uterine cavity can disturb sperm and egg transport
  • Disturbed peristalsis: Fibroids can disturb peristalsis (the movement of muscles in the gastrointestinal tract) in the junctional zone of the myometrium, affecting sperm and egg transport and implantation
  • Alter environment for implantation: Fibroids can change the environment of the vagina and uterus and inflammation levels. Also, it can induce molecular changes to the endometrium and alter blood supply to the endometrium

The complications may get worse without proper diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Consult a healthcare practitioner and seek medical attention to improve the quality of life.

Conclusion

Fibroids can cause several side effects and complications in women.

The side effects of fibroids include intense pain in the pelvic and abdomen region and heavy menstrual bleeding.

Further, fibroids can cause bleeding, pain during sex, constipation, and urinary problems.

Fibroids can also lead to some complications in women, including Anemia due to loss of excessive blood, repeated miscarriages, and infertility.

Therefore, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare practitioner and seek medical treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of fibroids?

The side effects of fibroids include intense pain in the pelvic and abdomen region and heavy menstrual bleeding. Further, fibroids can cause bleeding, pain during sex, constipation, and urinary problems.

How does fibroids affect your body?

Fibroids can cause some side effects and complications in women. It can cause intense pelvic and abdomen pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and pain during sex. Further, it can lead to frequent urination and constipation. It can also cause Anemia, repeated miscarriage, and infertility if left without treatment.

What’s the worst that can happen with fibroids?

In worst cases, fibroids can cause Anemia due to excessive blood loss, repeated miscarriages, and infertility. Further, fibroids can lead to frequent urination and other urinary problems. Heavy menstrual bleeding is one of the side effects in women, which can affect the quality of life.

How do fibroids affect your body?

Fibroids can cause several side effects and complications in women of reproductive ages. It can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, mood swings, urinary problems, and constipation. Further, it can elevate the risks of Anemia, infertility, and repeated miscarriages.

Citations:
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