6 Types of Uterine Fibroids and Symptoms Explained

Updated on February 22, 2019
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Personal Experience & Research About Survivor's PTSD, Anxiety & Sleep Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome, and Women's Health & Wellness Issues.

Known by other medical terms such as leiomyomas, myomas, and fibromas, uterine fibroid growths are noncancerous tumors except in sporadic cases, which develop within the female uterus and are made up of the same muscle tissue as the uterine wall although physically much denser.

The causes of uterine fibroids are not entirely known although many studies suggest that the condition may be linked to woman's genetic makeup and (or) a hormonal imbalance.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, a large percentage of women will experience the condition in their lifetime. The average age range of sensitivity is from a woman's early thirties until the onset of menopause, usually the nearing the fifties, and estimated that of all women by the age of 50 - 70 percent Caucasian and 80 percent African American suffered from the disease.

The trouble with chronic pain is that it is so easy to become accustomed to it, both mentally and physically. At first, it's absolutely agonizing; it's the only thing you think about, like a rock in your shoe that rubs your foot raw with every step. Then the constant rubbing, the pain and the limp all become part of the status quo, the occasional stabbing pain just a reminder. You are so set to endure, hunched against it - and when it starts to ease, you don't really

— Robert J. Wiersema
This hysterectomy specimen shows a large, solitary leiomyoma in the fundus, distoring the endometrial cavity into a Y shape by splaying and pressing it downwards.
This hysterectomy specimen shows a large, solitary leiomyoma in the fundus, distoring the endometrial cavity into a Y shape by splaying and pressing it downwards. | Source

Uterine Fibroids Symptoms

In light of the percentages as mentioned earlier, the numbers are astounding and significant but why aren't there more women coming forward and complaining of symptoms? The answer is simple though to the chronic sufferer, quite hard to believe. Some women have no signs at all. Depending on the severity - the length of time and size of the tumors - most women diagnosed with uterine fibroids experience mild symptoms while others experience the full outlined range as noted below.

  • Cramping, Intense Pain or Tenderness in the Pelvic Region
  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Longer-Than-Normal Menstrual Cycle
  • Spotting in Between Menstrual Cycles
  • Pain During Sexual Intercourse
  • Back Ache
  • Leg Pain
  • Bloating or Fullness in the Pelvic Region
  • Constipation or Bladder Irritation
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Mood Swings
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriages

Recent studies have shown that eating a healthy diet and using natural remedies may help reduce the symptoms of fibroids pain or reverse the disease entirely. If looking for more information on holistic care then you might want to refer to this informative article: 5 Natural Ways Proven to Help Remedy Uterine Fibroid Pain.

Schematic Showing the Placement of Six Types Uterine Fibroids Within the Womb
Schematic Showing the Placement of Six Types Uterine Fibroids Within the Womb | Source

1. Subserosal Fibroids

Subserosal fibroids (a) grow to the outside the wall of the uterus. These type of fibroids may increase large enough to distort the shape of the uterus, making the organ appear lopsided. Depending on its size, the growth can press up against the bladder causing trouble with emptying the bladder or bulge down in the lower back region causing uncomfortable pressure along with spinal nerves, back, and leg pain complications.

2. Intramural Fibroids

Intramural fibroids (b) are one of the most common types of a fibroid. They burrow deep within the uterine muscle wall and are known to grow into massive tumors larger than the size of a watermelon and stretch the uterine wall beyond its reasonable limit. These type of tumors are known to cause heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle as well as discomfort and pressure in the pelvic region.

3. Submucosal Fibroids

Submucosal fibroids (c) grow just beneath the lining of the uterus wall. These type of tumors are less frequent and known to cause substantial, prolonged bleeding during the menstrual cycle. They are also related to infertility and increase of miscarriage incidents during a woman's reproductive years.

4. Penducluated Submucosal Fibroids

Penducluated submucosal fibroids (d) usually grow as an extended stalk inside or outside of the uterus. These growths are almost always the cause of a sudden severe knife-like stabbing pain after a sudden movement where the stalk connection to the uterine wall cuts off blood flow to the fibroid.

5. Cervical Fibroid in Statu

Cervical fibroids (e) are somewhat rare but do occur and are easily detected, growing within the cervical tissue although in fewer instances than the other five types of fibroids.

6. Intraligamental Fibroid

Intraligamental fibroids (f) are sporadic tumors that attach themselves to the connective tissue on the outside of the uterus.

Seek Qualified Professional Health Care

If a woman is experiencing an increase of uterine pelvic pain, prolonged menstrual cycles with a heavy flow or spotting in between her periods then she may want to make an appointment with her gynecologist for a diagnosis. These are the possible warning signs of various types of muscular tumors which can place a burden on the woman's physical and mental health, especially if they continue to grow and multiply. They can also be warning signs of an even more complicated and life-threatening illness such as uterine cancer.

All women of childbearing, premenopausal or postmenopausal phases in life should continue with their yearly well women's check-ups for pap smears examination and thorough advice rather than relying solely on online medical self-care.

A transvaginal ultrasonography showing a subserosal uterine fibroid with a diameter of 5 centimeters.
A transvaginal ultrasonography showing a subserosal uterine fibroid with a diameter of 5 centimeters. | Source

What Happens When You Ignore or Neglect Uterine Fibroids?

Depending on the length of time and growth spurts, ignoring or neglecting the symptoms could worsen the condition to the point of a debilitating lifestyle.

Those women suffering from the disease find themselves in a situation where life is suddenly inconvenient to the fibroid condition that they must prohibit their typical day to day activities. Where they once enjoyed working out at the gym, hiking or long walks, shopping trips, vacation travel, or situations more imperative such as attendance at the workplace or sexual relations because of the embarrassment due to an accidental and uncontrolled bleed they can no longer.

Even more alarming are two other scenarios which might produce life-threatening conditions such as a pregnancy miscarriage or an out of control fibroid which grows to disproportionate size disrupting the function of other organs.

Lastly, women who endure the many symptoms may find themselves under emotional strain, experiencing mood swings and bouts of depression, possibly causing the need for professional mental health counseling.

The best course of action is to not ignore or neglect the condition. Seek immediate treatment - the sooner - the better - to prevent any unwanted crises whether it might be mental or physical to the woman's well-being.

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Cited Work & Resources

Medical Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is based on either personal experience and (or) compiled research to familiarize the condition. Anything written in the article should not be used to diagnose or solely treat any ailment. Please consult your health care professional for the best advice and practice for your specific situation before using any alternative methods. If having a health-related emergency, please contact Emergency Services immediately.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2018 ziyena


Submit a Comment
  • Isivwe Muobo profile image

    Farrah Young 

    3 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria

    Wow, this is new; never knew there are five types of fibroids. Always thought they were just three


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