How fibroids affect the whole person

How fibroids affect the whole person

Medically reviewed by Tomek Roberts, MD

Uterine fibroids are common. Most women will have at least one fibroid at some point, but black women have the highest rate.

7 out of 10 white women and 8 out of 10 black women have fibroids by age 50.

There may be just one fibroid or many, and they vary in size:

Small – up to the size of a cherry
Medium: Up to the size of an orange
Large: Up to the size of a grapefruit (or larger)

About 1 in 5 women with fibroids have symptoms.

Some fibroids cause no symptoms, but others can severely affect a woman’s quality of life.

Ways fibroid symptoms can affect you

Fibroids affect more than just blood flow. They can make your periods heavier, longer, and more frequent, which can get in the way of your lifestyle.


Fibroids can be expensive when you have to pay for it

  • Pads

  • Tampons

  • Underwear

  • Spill cleaning products

  • Visits with healthcare professionals

  • Treatments

Relationships/Social Life

If you are in pain or bleeding heavily, it could affect your relationships

  • You may not feel fun to be around

  • Choosing what to wear can be stressful

  • Physical intimacy can seem difficult


Having fibroids at work poses challenges

  • It can be stressful if you can’t go to the bathroom when you need to

  • Uniforms may not hide leaks

  • Severe cramps can make concentration difficult

  • Fear of losing your job due to absences can cause anxiety

Mental health

Studies show that women with fibroids are more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.

  • Feeling out of control can affect your mental health

  • Fear of going outside during your period can lead to social isolation

  • Fibroids can cause infertility stress or pressure to have children sooner

Fibroid-related health problems

While fibroids don’t always cause symptoms, they can cause physical problems. These include:

  • Blood clots

  • Blockage of the ureters

  • Infertility

  • Complications of pregnancy

  • Severe anemia

If you’re having symptoms, you just don’t have to try to go through. For more information on how to manage bleeding and treatment options, visit the White Dress Project.

This resource was created with financial support from Myovant Sciences GmbH and Pfizer.

From articles on your site
  • Living with fibroids ›
  • What you need to know about uterine fibroids ›
  • It’s Not Normal: Black Women Stop Having Fibroids ›
  • Clinically Speaking: What Are My Options After a Uterine Fibroid Diagnosis? ›
  • Clinically Speaking: What to ask your doctor if you think you have uterine fibroids ›
  • How Fibroids Can Affect Your Fertility ›
  • Fibroids ›
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