Fibroids and Constipation

Fibroids and Constipation 645d53d8cf0d8.png

Fibroids and Constipation

Fibroids have many symptoms such as heavy bleeding, bleeding between cycles, pain during intercourse, fatigue from anemia, severe pelvic pain, and abdominal swelling. As if those symptoms aren’t annoying enough, some women with fibroids also experience problems involving their bowels, such as bloating and constipation.

So why is this?

For starters, it has to do with the location of the uterus and the fibroids. The uterus rests directly in front of the colon, which is the part of the bowels that controls bowel movements. When fibroids develop in the back of the uterus, they can press on the colon from the outside, which can lead to significant constipation and bloating.  In order to deal with this, many women will resort to taking laxatives. However, this does not resolve the underlying issue, and when taken too often, it can actually make things worse.

In addition to this, some women with fibroids need to take iron supplements to combat blood loss from heavy periods to help prevent and treat anemia. Unfortunately, iron supplements can also cause constipation.

Another issue that can result from having fibroid-related constipation, is the development of hemorrhoids.  Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum that are caused by straining in order to have a bowel movement. These can be quite uncomfortable, and sometimes painful.

If left untreated, fibroid-related constipation can create additional stress and negatively impact a woman’s quality of life. It can also lead to other significant complications. Some of which are:

anal fissures

rectal bleeding

rectal prolapse

fecal impaction.

These issues, if left untreated, can begin to impact a woman’s social life, career, and relationships, as well as overall health. Therefore, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the situation- because fortunately, there are treatment options available.

One of the most successful treatments is Uterine Fibroid Embolization ( UFE), which we offer here at MidAtlantic Fibroid Care. UFE is a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment that can shrink fibroids, alleviate symptoms, and improve the overall quality of life. In fact, most women return to normal daily activities within one to two weeks.

When dealing with fibroid symptoms, it’s important, to be honest, and upfront with your doctor. Oftentimes women will avoid treatment for numerous reasons, one being that they feel embarrassed to discuss symptoms that have to do with going to the bathroom. It is not uncommon for women to be taught from a young age that they shouldn’t talk about bodily functions, which is a lesson that needs to change.

Discussing and sharing any and all information with your doctor regarding fibroid symptoms, big or small, is a necessary form of self-care. And taking that action to speak with your physician is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s something to be proud of because that action can lead to a happier, healthier, more comfortable life for you, and in turn, for those around you as well.

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