Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) lumps that develop in the muscle wall of the uterus. They are very common-70-80% of women over the age of 50 will have one or more fibroids but only about a quarter of these women will get any symptoms.
Some women get symptoms, which can include heavy periods, long periods, unscheduled vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, lower back pain, painful periods (dysmenorrhoea), pain during sex (dyspareunia), a mass or swelling in the tummy and urinary frequency. Fibroids can also lead to problems with fertility and pregnancy, including difficulty getting pregnant, miscarriage and premature labour. Bigger fibroids may press on the bladder or bowel, leading to constipation or difficulty passing urine. Sudden severe lower tummy pain can happen if a fibroid gets to big for its blood supply and it starts to “die”.