Uterine Fibroids: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 1/5/2021

Uterine fibroids, also known as fibroid tumors, are common, benign tumors in the uterus. Another term for fibroid is leiomyoma, which means a benign tumor of smooth muscle cells. Fibroids tend to shrink after menopause. They occur in up to 80% of women by age 50.

Most uterine fibroids do not cause any symptoms. Signs and symptoms can result if a fibroid becomes larger or presses on a nearby organ. When symptoms and signs do occur, the most common symptom types are bleeding, pain, and pressure. Examples of signs and symptoms can include

  • heavy menstrual bleeding,
  • menstrual periods lasting more than a week,
  • pelvic pressure or pain,
  • frequent urination,
  • difficulty emptying the bladder,
  • constipation,
  • backache, or
  • leg pains.

Cause of uterine fibroids

The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but hormonal factors may play a role.

Other uterine fibroids symptoms and signs

  • Backache
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty Emptying the Bladder
  • Frequent Urination
  • Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
  • Leg Pains
  • Menstrual Periods Lasting More Than a Week
  • Pelvic Pressure or Pain


What is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)? See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.