Menstrual Cramps or Fibroids?

Menstrual Cramps or Fibroids? 645d54157fb53.png

Menstrual Cramps or Fibroids?

Chances are, if you are a menstruating woman, at some point or another, you have experienced the discomfort of having menstrual cramps. In fact, it is estimated that more than 80% of menstruating women experience them.

Menstrual cramps are caused by the presence of a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins, which trigger the uterine muscles to contract as it sheds its lining. These contractions often cause inflammation and throbbing, cramping pain in the abdomen. Though the majority of menstrual cramps are treatable with over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, sometimes the pain can be caused by an underlying issue, such as uterine fibroids. Many women commonly mistake these cramps as being severe menstrual cramps, when they are not. Fibroids are extremely common, in fact, evidence has shown that by the age of 50, at least 70-80% of women will have experienced fibroids.

So how can you tell if you’re having normal cramps or cramps from fibroids?

For starters, cramps caused by fibroids differ from normal cramps in that they are more painful, they can appear at other times during the month, and, if left untreated, they become worse over time. A few indicators that you may be experiencing the symptoms of fibroids during your cycle are:

  • Heavy and prolonged menstruation between or during your periods
  • Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Stomach swelling
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation and/or bloating
  • Pain in your pelvis or lower back

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not panic. There is treatment available.

The first thing you need to do is speak to your doctor. The doctor will most likely order an ultrasound to confirm the presence of fibroids. Then, if fibroids are found, the next step in treatment may be a non-invasive procedure to remove them, such as Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE)- a procedure that is carried out by an expert radiologist.

No woman should suffer from excessive cramping and pain around their period. If over-the-counter medications aren’t helping, chances are there is something else going on. Call your doctor if you have any reason for concern, and know that by working with the skilled professionals at your ob-gyn, and the experts at conducting UFE procedures here at MidAtlantic Fibroid Care, we can have you feeling better in no time.

 

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