Heavy menstrual bleeding is the cardinal sign of fibroids. Fibroids are also caused myomas and are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the myometrium or uterine wall. If you used to have normal periods with less than seven days of bleeding, and suddenly your bleeding has started lasting longer and longer, uterine fibroids might be the cause.
What Causes Fibroids to Grow?
Your body produces estrogen, a hormone that gives you your voluptuous curves, helps your body enjoy sex, regulates your period and also causes fibroids to grow. Because the fibroids in your uterus are under the same influence of other hormones in your body that make you have your period, therefore they are going to bleed in addition to the lining of your uterus, causing excess blood during your menstrual cycle.
Symptoms of Fibroids
Many women with fibroids don’t have symptoms at all. Unfortunately for women who do have symptoms, they can be very severe and include pain, bladder pressure, pain with urination, miscarriage and infertility. Fibroids can also cause pain with sex and depression. The most common symptom of fibroids, however, is abnormal bleeding or heavy bleeding.
Why Fibroids Cause Heavy Bleeding
What makes fibroids bleed? The fibroid is connected to your uterine lining. The pressure of the fibroid against your uterine wall can cause the endometrial tissue to bleed more than it normally would. This may cause a very heavy period, a long period or spotting between periods.
Typically, when you have your period, your uterine muscle will contract and tighten, causing your blood to clot enough to stop menstrual bleeding. However, when fibroids are present on your uterine lining, they can prevent the uterus from fully contracting, causing a continuation in bleeding. The fibroids can also stimulate the blood vessels of the uterus, causing there to be more blood in your uterine cavity, leading to heavy periods.
Menorrhagia and Metrorrhagia
A period that is longer in length than the average five to seven days is called menorrhagia. If you have spotting or bleeding that occurs between periods, this is called metrorrhagia. Either of these symptoms may be the result of fibroids in your uterus.
Treatment for Fibroids
The treatment for fibroids depends on a few factors: the size of your fibroid, the placement of your fibroid and your desire for children in the future. There are non-invasive options to consider including medication therapy and hormonal management. For women with severe cases of fibroids, surgery may be the best option. Types of surgery for fibroids include uterine artery embolization (technically this is a procedure rather than a surgery), myomectomy and hysterectomy.