Uterine fibroids are considered common among women and are generally not a serious health problem. When symptoms such as hip pain are present, women should make an appointment to see a doctor. Complications due to uterine fibroids are usually easily treated and rarely require surgical removal.
Uterine fibroids are non cancerous growths which develop on the uterus. These growths are the most common non cancerous tumors among women and usually occur during the child bearing years. Uterine fibroids are also known as fibromyomas, leiomyomas or myomas. These tumors almost never develop into cancer and their presence does not indicate an increased risk of uterine cancer.
Uterine fibroids are usually harmless, and even though three out of four women will have uterine fibroids at some point in their lives, most will never have any noticeable symptoms. These tumors are often discovered during routine pelvic exams or ultrasounds during pregnancy. Hip pain caused by uterine fibroids is generally due to the tumors exhibiting pressure on the pelvis as they grow. Those who experience sharp pelvic or hip pain should seek medical attention to determine the cause of the pain and begin necessary treatment.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure or pain, constipation, frequent urination, fever and pain in the back, legs, or hips. Uterine fibroids generally do not cause pain unless the fibroid has outgrown its blood supply or if the stalk connecting the fibroid to the uterus becomes twisted and the fibroid is cut off from its blood supply.
Uterine fibroids can be so small that they are undetectable by the human eye or large enough that they distort and enlarge the uterus. Large fibroids causing distortion are more likely to cause pain due to placing pressure various organs and parts of the body. Fibroids tend to grow slowly over time although they may grow faster during pregnancy and shrink during menopause due to shifting hormone levels.
Various medications are available to shrink fibroids and relieve hip pain as well as other pain caused by the tumors. These medications will not completely eradicate the fibroids however. Surgery is the only way to remove fibroids. A myomectomy is surgery which removes the uterine fibroids but leaves the uterus intact for women. With a myomectomy there is a risk of recurrence. The only permanent solution for removing uterine fibroids is a hysterectomy which involves removing the uterus completely.