Symptoms of fibroids 

Many women are unaware they have fibroids because they do not have any symptoms. Around one in three women with fibroids experiences some symptoms.

If your fibroids do cause symptoms, you may experience one or more of the problems outlined below.

In rare cases, further complications caused by fibroids can affect pregnancy or cause infertility.

See complications of fibroids for more information about this.

Heavy or painful periods

Fibroids do not disrupt the normal menstrual cycle (periods), but can cause heavy, prolonged or painful bleeding.

If you have heavy periods (menorrhagia), it does not necessarily mean there is anything seriously wrong. However, it can be stressful and significantly disrupt your everyday life.

In some cases, heavy periods can cause iron deficiency anaemia, resulting in symptoms such as tiredness, lethargy and shortness of breath.

Abdominal pain

If you have fibroids, particularly larger ones, you may experience discomfort or bloating (swelling) in your tummy. You may also experience pain in your lower back and legs.

Frequent urination and constipation

If your fibroids press on your bladder, you may need to urinate frequently. Fibroids can also press on your rectum (large intestine), which can cause constipation.

Pain or discomfort during sex

If you have fibroids growing near your vagina or cervix (neck of the womb), you may experience pain or discomfort during sex.

Page last reviewed: 02/09/2013

Next review due: 02/09/2015