Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For most women, the most noticeable symptom is abdominal or lower back pain. Other symptoms may seem harmless and some women may not think that they are linked to the problem. Can uterine fibroids also cause changes in menstrual periods? Here are some of the things that all women should know about how this gynecological condition can affect menstruation.
Longer and Heavier Menstrual Periods
Women who have uterine fibroids are more prone to longer and heavier menstrual periods. If you notice changes in how long and heavy your periods are and have not recently stopped using a hormonal method of birth control, there is a chance that you may have noncancerous uterine growths. Any woman who suspects this problem should be sure to document the problem for her healthcare provider by marking the number of days and how heavy menstruation is on a calendar.
More Severe Cramps with Menstruation
Another one of the symptoms of uterine fibroids is menstrual cramping. If you have never experienced severe menstrual cramps and have suddenly noticed them, it could be because you have developed noncancerous uterine growths. Keep in mind that discontinuing a hormonal birth control method can cause women to experience worse menstrual cramps and other problems, such as endometriosis, can lead to the problem.
Spotting Between Menstrual Periods
Uterine fibroids can cause women to experience vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods. Women with this problem may simply think that they are experiencing irregular menstrual periods. You might notice spotting between periods at any time, including after sexual intercourse. However, it is important to note that there are many other possible causes of spotting between periods, ranging from stopping hormonal birth control methods to cancer of the female reproductive organs.
Anemia Due to Heavy Menstruation
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, women who have uterine fibroids are more prone to anemia due to heavy menstruation. Women who suspect that they may have uterine fibroids should be sure to take a daily iron supplement. It is also important for them to include iron-rich foods in their diets, such as spinach, nuts, poultry, and red meat.
Any time you notice any changes in menstruation, it is important to talk to your gynecologist about it. Even if the problem is not caused by uterine fibroids, it could be due to a serious gynecological condition or cancer. While changes in menstrual periods may seem harmless to some women, it is important to never take the problem lightly.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Uterine Fibroids.”
Web MD, “Uterine Fibroids – Topic Overview.”