Uterine fibroids are a common condition affecting premenopausal women, and one of the most common symptoms from fibroids is heavy bleeding during periods. Fibroids can occur at any age but are most common in women 35 to 50 years of age. Uterine fibroids are benign growths that tend to mostly go away on their own, but in some women with heavy menstrual bleeding, treatment for fibroids removal in Chennai is needed. Though fibroids are known to resolve after menopause, leading reason for hysterectomy seems to be severe symptoms of bleeding during periods. There are several ways that the uterine fibroids can contribute to heavy menstrual periods.
Heavy bleeding is a symptom of uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are known medically as leiomyomas. A fibroid can be small and singular or grow and multiply into several fibroids of varying sizes in any location within the uterus that is not always the same. Fibroid growths that form from the muscle tissue of the uterus are almost always noncancerous. Fibroids are commonly asymptomatic making the women unaware of its presence. For many women, they cause mild symptoms. Experiencing heavy bleeding, pain and changes in menstruation due to fibroids can interfere with daily routine or increase in severity or frequency. About 35% of women with fibroids experience varying degrees of heavy menstrual bleeding, or menorrhagia during their reproductive years. The prevalence of uterine fibroids is extremely common and the severity of symptoms depends on age, previous pregnancies and family history, all having a role in creating fibroids. Symptoms that vary from moderate to severe during periods include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Longer periods that more frequent
- Bleeding between periods or spotting
- Pelvic discomfort
- Distended abdomen
- Bladder and bowel pressure
- Abdominal and back pain
- Cramping during periods
- Painful sex
- Anaemia from blood loss
- Difficult bowel and bladder movements
- Urgency in urination due to the pressure on the bladder
How do uterine fibroids cause heavy bleeding during periods?
There is no one reason that uterine fibroids can cause heavy bleeding. There are several theories to explain how fibroids can cause heavy bleeding but it is not completely understood on how fibroids do cause abnormal uterine bleeding. Fibroids that protrude into the uterine cavity can distort the lining of the uterus and cause abnormal menstrual bleeding in most cases. Another theory suggests that fibroids contribute to disorders in hormone production, which are involved in the contraction and relaxation of the smooth muscles in the uterus. One more explanation suggests that submucosal fibroids that are located within the uterine cavity may enlarge the surface area of the uterine lining known as endometrium to cause heavy menstrual bleeding. Latest studies also reveal that fibroid tissue in the uterus can alter the production of growth factor, altering blood flow and response of blood vessels to menstruation. Heavy, prolonged periods caused by fibroids can be substantiated by few theories as:
- More bleeding than usual can be caused by uterine fibroids that may put pressure against the uterine lining.
- Bleeding may not be stopped when the uterus may not contract properly.
- Heavier bleeding, irregular periods and spotting between periods could be because of the growth of blood vessels stimulated by fibroids.
- Heavy bleeding could also be contributed by elevated levels of hormones called prostaglandins.
In short, uterine fibroids can be related typically to heavy bleeding during periods based on the location of fibroids, contractility of the uterus, any abnormality in the uterine lining and levels of ancillary prostaglandins present. This might make the condition more concerning, but it is a relief that these growths that form from the muscle tissue of the uterus are mostly noncancerous and treatable by best gynaecologist for fibroids removal in Chennai.
How much and how long can bleeding last due to fibroids?
Menorrhagia is the medical word for heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Heavy periods are clinically explained as menstruation that lasts more than 8 days and requires frequent changing of sanitary pads. An average menstrual cycle is defined as the time between the first day of a period to the first day of the next period that is typically variable between 21 and 35 days. Fibroids can cause bleeding last longer than a normal menstrual period, which can be between 3 to 7 days. Bleeding caused by fibroids can extend the periods longer than 8 or 9 days. If longer periods and bleeding between periods continue for at least 6 months, it is considered as abnormal periods. Symptoms that indicate menorrhagia or heavy bleeding during periods are:
- Bleeding that soaks through sanitary pads, requiring constant change
- Bleeding with passing of large blood clots
- Bleeding that extends longer than a week
- Experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue as symptoms of anaemia
While these symptoms are scary, uterine fibroids are typically not life threatening and they are treatable. However, any abnormal bleeding with a heavier flow, longer periods, passing large size clots or bleeding between periods is a cause of concern. Heavy bleeding is often associated with blood loss that is severe to interfere with daily activities. It can make women feel tired and dizzy from their anaemia. An increase in blood loss leading to extreme fatigue and anaemia needs to be addressed medically in order to determine the cause of bleeding and follow the appropriate treatment. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, a doctor may be able to feel a fibroid during a regular pelvic exam or further testing including an imaging procedure such as an ultrasound may be suggested. Anaemia from heavy bleeding can sometimes require a woman to have a blood transfusion. Along with heavy bleeding, if there is persistent pelvic pain and pressure or sharp, sudden pain in the abdomen that does not respond to pain medication, they are signs of uterine fibroids that need immediate medical attention from hysterectomy specialist in Chennai.