Uterine fibroids are benign growths of the uterus. Most uterine fibroids are completely harmless and have no outward symptoms.
Uterine fibroids are pretty common – around one-fifth of women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in their life. Research is still out on their specific causes, but they may be related to hormones and your genetics. While we don’t have any methods of preventing fibroids, the possibility of developing them should not be worrisome.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Most women who develop fibroids do not have any symptoms. Often times women don’t know they have fibroids until they have a regular pelvic exam, ultrasound, or become pregnant. Another reason to make sure you see your doctor regularly as there is usually no indication at all that your health is being compromised.
But, some do present with symptoms. These include:
- Pressure in the pelvis
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary frequency
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the legs
- Heavy or long periods (before pregnancy)
Will Uterine Fibroids Affect My Pregnancy?
Usually they don’t have any effect on pregnancy or the baby. In rare cases, however, they can increase the risk of certain complications. These include miscarriage, breech birth, preterm birth, or delivery by Cesarean section. However, these are special cases. Your OB-GYN will discuss your risk, as well as take every precaution to keep you and your baby healthy.