What are the signs of a myomatous uterus?

A myomatous uterus, in which a benign mass of tissue known as a fibroid or fibroid is present, may or may not have symptoms. Whether or not a person experiences symptoms depends largely on the size and location of the tissue mass. When symptoms are present, they usually include unusual menstrual bleeding, abdominal pressure or pain, abdominal swelling, and infertility problems. The location of the fibroid can also cause secondary complications that carry their own set of symptoms.

A woman who has a fibroid uterus may experience excessively heavy, long, or painful menstrual bleeding. She could also experience spotting between menstrual periods. These specific symptoms are often indicative of a submucosal fibroid, which means that the mass is growing in the inner uterine lining, known as the endometrium. Excessive bleeding from this type of myomatous uterus can cause a secondary condition of anemia in which there is not enough oxygen in the bloodstream. Anemia has its own symptoms, including paleness, fatigue, and a feeling of breathlessness.

Another symptom that could indicate a fibroid uterus is a feeling of pressure in the abdominal area. Depending on the location and size of the fibroid, a woman may feel as if something is pressing on her lower back, intestine, or bladder. If the pressure is on the bladder, this can lead to urinary frequency. If the fibroid presses on the urethra, blocking the normal flow of urine, a woman may have difficulty urinating despite a sense of urgency. When the fibroid presses on the intestine, in addition to discomfort, the condition can also cause constipation.

Depending again on the size and location of the fibroid, a fibroid uterus can cause swelling of the abdomen. This is usually due to an enlarged uterus. If the swelling is more localized, it may indicate a subserosal fibroid, which means that the mass of tissue is on the outer wall of a woman's uterus.

Infertility problems can be both a symptom and a complication of a fibroid uterus. Depending on the location of the fibroid, it can interfere with the proper implantation of an egg within the uterus. This can make it difficult for a woman to conceive. In cases where a woman is already pregnant, the fibroid can interrupt blood flow to the placenta or interfere with the development of the fetus, which can lead to miscarriage or premature labor.

The symptoms of a myomatous uterus, when present, are similar to the symptoms of other conditions as well. Consequently, it is important for a woman experiencing these types of symptoms to have them evaluated by a qualified medical professional. Also, as symptoms can vary from person to person, it is important for a woman to note any changes or irregularities, no matter how subtle, and notify her doctor accordingly.

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