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Fibroids and Bloating: What You Need to Know

Posted on January 29, 2024

Many women wonder if fibroids and bloating go hand in hand. And they want to know if treating their uterine fibroids will resolve that bloating. Are you dealing with this same concern? Here’s everything you need to know about fibroids causing stomach swelling. But first, let's get in a quick refresher on these growths that form in and around the uterus.

What are uterine fibroids?

These common growths are non-cancerous tumors composed of fibrous muscle tissue. There’s not one reason why women might develop fibroids, but family history, race, exposure to certain chemicals, and even hormonal imbalances can all increase your risk.

On their own, these growths don’t pose a threat to your health. However, they can leave you experiencing many unwanted symptoms including long or heavy periods; back pain; pelvic pain; enlargement of the uterus; and—you may have guessed it—bloating!

Fibroids and Bloating: The Less-Discussed Fibroid Symptoms a woman with bloating

When we talk about fibroid symptoms, doctors usually mention pelvic pain and heavy periods, or even bleeding between cycles. With large fibroids, pressure on your bladder or rectum could even change your bowel movements or urination habits.

But how are fibroids and bloating related? Many women experience bloating, whether or not they have fibroids. In fact, this symptom is a common side effect of everything from irritable bowel syndrome, excessive air swallowing, or changes in the gut’s bacteria levels.

So, how can fibroids contribute to bloating and gas? This side effect is most likely to develop when your fibroids are quite large. Due to their sheer size, they create the feeling of pressure, and can enlarge the uterus enough to make you look bloated. In some cases, that distension is extreme enough to make women look pregnant. In fact, Entertainment Tonight host Nischelle Turner recently posted on X (formerly Twitter): "When I was suffering from fibroids a few months ago my stomach swelled and so many people kept saying oh you’re pregnant or asking if I was…they didn’t know I had tumors, but it was also none of their business. Mind ya tongue…"

Now, we couldn't agree more. But stomach swelling isn't the only way fibroids contribute to bloat. Larger fibroids can also press on your rectum, as we mentioned earlier. In such cases, passing bowel movements may be more difficult, leading to constipation. And, since bloating, gas and constipation often go hand in hand, fibroids could once again be the source of the problem.

Relief for Fibroids Bloating

Fibroid symptoms such as bloating and gas can make every day uncomfortable. But you don’t have to live with them forever—and you don’t need surgery to find relief. Here in Houston, our fibroid specialists are providers of UFE, a minimally invasive fibroid treatment that shrinks your tumors, relieving symptoms such as bloating, without surgery or overnight hospital stays. Want to learn if you’re a UFE candidate? Contact our office and schedule a consultation!

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