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A myomatous uterus, in which a benign mass of tissue known as a myoma or fibroid is present, might or might not have symptoms. Whether or not a person experiences symptoms depends largely on the size and location of the tissue mass. When symptoms are present, they most typically include unusual menstrual bleeding, abdominal pressure or pain, abdominal swelling, and infertility issues. The location of the myoma might also cause secondary complications that carry their own set of symptoms.
A woman who has a myomatous uterus might experience excessively heavy, long, or painful menstrual bleeding. She might also experience spotting in between menstrual periods. These specific symptoms are often indicative of a submucosal myoma, which means that the mass is growing on the inner uterine lining, known as the endometrium. The excessive bleeding from this condition might cause a secondary case of anemia in which there is insufficient oxygen in the bloodstream. Anemia has its own symptoms, including paleness, fatigue, and a feeling of breathlessness.
Another symptom that might indicate a myomatous uterus is a feeling of pressure in the abdominal area. Depending on the location and size of the myoma, a woman might feel as if something is pressing on her lower back, bowel, or bladder. If the pressure is on the bladder, this may lead to urinary frequency. If the myoma is pressing on the urethra, blocking the normal flow of urine, a woman may have difficulty urinating despite the feeling of urgency. When the myoma presses on the bowel, in addition to the discomfort, the condition might also cause constipation.
Depending again on the size and location of the myoma, a myomatous uterus might cause swelling of the abdomen. This is typically due to an enlargement of the uterus itself. If the swelling is more localized, it might indicate a subserosal myoma, meaning that the tissue mass is located on the exterior wall of a woman’s uterus.
Infertility issues can be both a symptom and a complication of this disorder. Depending on the location of the myoma, it can interfere with the proper implantation of an egg within the uterus. This can make it difficult for a woman to conceive. In instances where a woman is already pregnant, the myoma might disrupt the blood flow to the placenta or get in the way of a developing fetus, resulting in miscarriage or premature delivery.
The symptoms of a myomatous uterus, when present, are similar to symptoms of other conditions as well. Consequently, it is important that a woman experiencing these types of symptoms have them evaluated by a qualified medical professional. Furthermore, as symptoms might vary from one person to another, it is important for a woman to make careful note of any changes or irregularities, no matter how subtle, and advise her doctor accordingly.
Medicine has come a long way in myoma treatment. A hysterectomy used to be one of the only ways to eradicate fibroids. But today, doctors say patience can be one of the best treatment options. Most fibroids or myomas will shrink or disappear in time. Birth control pills, IUD and medications that block production of estrogen and progesterone may also help. Ultrasound and minimally invasive surgeries are other options. More invasive treatment options include a hysterectomy and or abdominal surgery to remove the myomas.